R. VewnuGopal with DM, Bharat Times
In 2015, Muhammad Naveed, a Pakistani Australian, was working as an Uber driver. He was then aged 41, married with three children and he had no criminal record either in Pakistan or in Australia.
Picking up the victim at around midnight in King’s Cross
After having been out with friends and drinking heavily, at about 11.45pm, JW (a friend of the victim who was later in the night raped) and some friends ordered an Uber taxi and they travelled from Scruffy Murphy’s to the World Bar on Bayswater Road, Kings Cross. They waited for another friend outside the World Bar for about 20 minutes. That friend did not arrive so they joined the queue to enter the World Bar. When they got to the front of the queue, they were asked for a cover charge.
The victim said, “It’s not worth it, I’m going to go home”.
She walked to a nearby street sign. She leaned against the street sign and removed her high heel shoes and started walking on Baywater Raod, King’s Cross.
According to the documents, at some point shortly after this, she became aware that she was in the front passenger seat of Muhammad Naveed’s car. She did not recall how she came to be in the car but she believed that the car was a taxi because she saw a telephone pinned to the middle board of the car with GPS on it. She gave the driver, Naveed, her home address in Vaucluse.
Naveed was working as an Uber driver on the night of 17 October 2015. Prior to picking up the complainant, he dropped his last passenger at Potts Point. He told Detective Sergeant Scrivens that when he picked up the victim, “it was not an Uber booking, it was on a break”.
At about 1am, Naveed drove into the BP Service Station, got out of his car and walked into the service station. He selected a packet of condoms from the shelf near the counter and took a bottle of water from the fridge, paid and returned to his car. The victim was still in the front seat of the car.
Naveed drove the car looking for a darker street and said to the victim, “Hey baby, I’ve got some condoms”. He continued to drive for a number of minutes before turning off the main street and into a side street. The street was dark and the applicant parked the car on the side of the road. He asked the victim, “Do you want to sit in the back?”
The victim, being so heavily intoxicated, could not keep her eyes open and was falling asleep. She thought Naveed wanted her to go into the back seat because she was going to fall asleep on the way home. She got out of the driver’s seat and walked around to the front passenger’s door. Naveed opened the back door and helped her into the back seat, where she fell asleep.
When she woke up in the back seat of the car, her back was facing the passenger side door and was half up against the back seat. Her legs were in the taxi facing towards the driver’s seat of the car, up along the length of the seat.
And Naveed was lying on top of her.
She tried to push him off her, pushing her arms out towards him. It did not have any effect. While she tried to push him away, she tried to say, “no, go away, get off” but “none of the words really came out of my mouth … and I didn’t have any strength in me, so nothing was really working”. She was trying to stop him but it did not have any effect.
Naveed had sexual intercourse with her and when he finished and got out of his car, the victim remained in the back seat and fell back to sleep.
The next thing she remembered was being woken up by Naveed. Sitting in his driver’s seat, he twisted around from the driver’s seat, grabbed her knee and said, “We’re at your house”.
She got out of the car and walked towards the house. And Naveed drove away.
Once inside the house, she made contact with a friend and told him that she had been raped. He rang the police. Both the friend and the police arrived at her house a short time afterwards.
Police interviewed her and she attended Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for a medical examination. She had some injuries (bruises on her legs/thighs) which police photographed.
At about 6.15am, a sample of her blood was also taken. She had, at that time of the morning, a reading of 0.151 grams in 100 millilitres of blood. Based on that analysis, an expert pharmacologist, determined for the police and the Courts that the likely blood alcohol concentration at about the time of the offence would have been 0.231. The range of calculated blood alcohol concentration at that time was estimated to be between 0.196 to 0.276.
Naveed Muhammed was arrested, charged for rape.
Naveed had told police the sexual intercourse was totally consensual, saying, “ït was all mutual”. But the court found beyond reasonable doubt that Naveed knew the victim was not consenting to the sexual intercourse.
Sentenced in 2017
For his sentencing hearing conducted on 5 May 2017, Naveed, from prison, where he had been, and attacked twice, submitted a letter to the judge, saying as below:
I sincerely apologise with [sic] your honor [sic] and the court and now I realised that I made a wrong decision on 18th October 2015. I accept the jury’s verdict and also accept finding of guilt. My lawyers have read to me [the complainant’s] statement and I am extremely sorry to hear about what has been happening to her in her life. I take all the responsibility for that and I hope everything will be alright in her life in the near future. I also acknowledge and take responsibility of any injury to [the complainant]. I am so sorry…
His trial concluded on 13 June 2017. Naveed was sentenced by the court to imprisonment for nine years commencing 12 February 2017 and expiring 11 February 2026 with a non-parole period of six years and four months expiring 11 June 2023. Watch the video of sentencing Judge’s remarks on Channel 10 news here.
The maximum penalty for the offence is imprisonment for 14 years. There is a standard non-parole period of seven years.
In January this year, Naveed made an application to the Court of Criminal Appeal, for a reduction in his sentence citing mainly two reasons:
- The judge failed to factor in his remorse; and
- His sentence was excessive.
Looking at what he had done, his letter to the judge and the maximum imprisonment of 14 years with a non-parole period of 7 years, which he could be sentenced for, the senior court dismissed his application. Muhammad Naveed will be eligible for release on parole, as originally ordered, on 11 June 2023.
According to a report printed in The Daily Telegraph, Muhammad Naveed is a fake Pakistani refugee who lied to authorities to get to Australia and fought hard in courts to stop the federal government from kicking him out of the country.
“In the latest judiciary citizenship bungle, The Daily Telegraph can reveal Muhammad Naveed was a fake refugee with bogus documents who once returned to Pakistan — even though he had said going home would put him in danger.
As per the Migration Act 1958, Muhammad Naveed has now failed the character test – having been sentenced to imprisonment for more than 12 months. And thus will be subject to deportation when he is released on parole on 11 June 2023. It is very likely that he will go directly from the prison where he will be at the time – straight to a detention centre.