Northern Ireland

Derry woman says bogus taxi driver raped her

A Londonderry mother has told police she was raped by a bogus taxi driver in the early hours of Sunday morning.

22-year-old Laura Nixon, who has waived her right to anonymity, said the ordeal began as she returned from a night out in the city.

Laura told her family she became concerned for her safety when the driver passed her home.

She said he locked the doors of the car and drove her to a lay-by near the Donegal border where he raped her.

Laura was too upset to speak, but her sister Louise Nixon spoke on her behalf.

"It's devastating, she tried to fight him off, but he was too heavy for her," she said.

"After it was over he got back into the front seat and asked her where she lived before taking her home."

Louise said her younger sister is now terrified in her own home and needs constant care.

Dangers

"She can't even get out of her bed in the morning and she wants to warn other girls to be careful before they get into a car on a night out.

"Don't flag taxis down and make sure you go home with friends. When he was taking her home she looked for plates but could find none."

The PSNI said: "This is an active police investigation.

"A team of detectives from the PSNI's Rape Crime Unit are conducting this investigation and all lines of inquiry are currently being pursued."

Helena Bracken of the Nexus Institute, which works with victims of sexual abuse, expressed her shock at the incident and urged other women to be aware of the dangers.

"I really hope that every one of us will be more cautious when making our way home in taxis, and check the vehicle is authorised," she said.

"If possible make sure someone is there to accompany you home, because I wouldn't want any other person to go through what that poor girl has endured."

She also commended Laura's bravery in coming forward.

"Very often victims don't share their horrific experience with family members never mind the public so I think we should take our hats' off to this girl."