Rapist taxi driver who fled the country to escape justice is jailed

A taxi driver who was entrusted to drive a young woman home from a night out in Newcastle has been jailed for rape.

Rather than taking his then 21-year-old victim home, Salih Kilicakap took her to his Newcastle address before raping her after she had fallen unconscious in the back of his taxi.

The young woman awoke hours later in a strange room with damp hair, which she later realised that the 57-year-old had washed her and her clothes.

Terrified and confused, she fled the property and sought help from strangers before contacting Northumbria Police.

An investigation was launched, and Kilicakap, a German national, was quickly identified and arrested.

Salih Kilickap has been jailed for 10 years. Salih Kilickap has been jailed for 10 years.
Salih Kilickap has been jailed for 10 years.

He denied any wrongdoing during a police interview but was subsequently charged with rape.

Kilicakap failed to atten the first court hearing so a warrant was issued for his arrest; however, he had fled the country and returned to Germany.

Officers worked alongside the Metropolitan Police and the National Crime Agency, as well as several overseas forces to put him before the courts.

Kilicakap was detained in Bulgaria in August 2022 before he was extradited back to the UK and remanded in custody.

On Wednesday, April 19, he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court and pleaded guilty to one count of rape.

Earlier this year, he was back at the same court and jailed for 10 years - he must also sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and has been barred from ever holding a taxi licence again.

A statement from his victim was read out during the court proceedings, in it, his victim said: “I was a young person, and I had my whole life ahead of me.

“He hasn’t made this guilty plea for my benefit, to prevent me from having to give evidence or be cross examined, if he truly had any ounce of remorse for me, he would have admitted to the police in 2017 what he had done.

“He didn’t, he left the UK and it’s taken several years for the UK authorities to bring him back to the UK for prosecution.

“The first part of my adult life has been tainted, now I am hoping that I and my loved ones can try to move forward knowing that justice has been served.”

Detective Sergeant Lynne Thompson-Hogg, of the Force’s Rape Investigation Team, heaped praise on the victim for her amazing bravery throughout the case.

She commented: “Firstly, we would like to praise the bravery of this young woman and thank her for her unwavering dignity, as well as for her trust in officers and the Crown Prosecution Service to bring her attacker back to the UK to face justice for the events of that night.

“Salih Kilickap preyed on a lone woman before clumsily trying to cover his tracks.

“He is a coward who put this woman through hell while she patiently waited for her attacker to be brought back to the UK.

“We would also like to recognise the work of our national and international colleagues who helped return him to the UK to face justice.

“We want to reassure the public that Newcastle is a safe place to enjoy a night out.

“As a Force, protecting the vulnerable is our top priority and that includes protecting women on a night out.

“No one deserves for their night out to end in being assaulted and we routinely patrol our night-time areas with both uniformed and plain-clothed officers, as part of Operation Cloak, targeting those seeking to take advantage of people on a night out.

“If you are on a night out and spot anything suspicious or want to report behaviour that has made you feel uneasy or alarmed, please do approach an officer, call us on 101 or contact us online. In an emergency, always call 999.”

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