Man forced terrified Ilford cabbie to be his personal chauffeur

A thug who forced an Ilford cabbie to act as his personal chauffeur after holding him prisoner in his car has been locked up for three-and-a-half years.

Zack Turay, 20, and an unknown accomplice ordered Mohammed Aqeel Sheikh to take them on a two hour trip around east London.

Terrified Mr Sheikh, who works for Atlas Cars in Ilford Hill, told how he was scared for his life after being threatened with a brick when he made a bid for freedom.

Father-of-one Turay insisted he paid the cabbie �30 but he was convicted of false imprisonment following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Mr Sheikh had been asked to collect Turay and his friend from an address in Balfour Road, Ilford at about 4.45pm on May 4.

“Zack Turay threatened the cab driver with violence and caused him so much fear that he effectively was forced to act as a personal chauffeur as he was made to drive to various locations around east London, before leaving without paying,” said prosecutor Benedict Kelleher.

“It was very much Zack Turay who was in charge.”

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Mr Sheikh tried to escape when Turay and his friend ordered the taxi to stop near Homerton Hospital.

But Turay spotted him and held a brick up to the windscreen, shouting at him to stop.

Turay was arrested after police matched his palm print to one imprinted on the taxi window.

Iain Purdie, defending Turay, said his crimes were the result of a difficult childhood in war-torn Sierra Leone.

But Judge David Radford said Turay’s excuses about childhood problems were “stale” in light of his previous convictions for offences including robbery, wounding and affray.

Turay, of no fixed address, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ institute.

He denied false imprisonment.