A taxi driver has been hailed as a hero after saving a teenager from a pedophile armed with knives, duct tape and sleeping pills.
Cabbie Satbir Arora picked up the 13-year-old teenager, who was wearing her school uniform from Bicester, in Oxfordshire County, and drove her to Gloucester Station.
The deranged Sam Hewings, a 24-year-old man, planned to kidnap the 13-year-old student when she arrived. In fact, he had talked about the details of the kidnapping, sedation and rape of a victim in online forums.
Since nobody came to pick up the teenager, the taxi driver asked for more details but when pressed a bit, she refused to continue talking.
Arora called his wife, with whom he runs a taxi company, to ask for advice.
Upon realizing that the teenager was not being completely honest about the reasons for her trip, she asked her to talk to his wife, who discovered that the parents were not aware of her plans and called the police.
Arora phoned the person with whom the teenager was to meet and recorded the call.
In fact, Hewings was the one who had taken care of the reservation and had the intention of kidnapping the teenager, so that those recordings became vital evidence in the courts.
Last week, Hewings was sentenced to five years in prison for attempted kidnapping, as well as for the creation and distribution of indecent images.
The online chats records submitted to the Gloucester Crown Court revealed Hebings’ pedophile tendencies and demonstrated that he had spoken about the abduction, sedation and rape of a victim.
When the police arrested him at home, they found a backpack with knives, tape and acetaminophen pills with codeine.
The Cherwell District Council, the entity that grants the taxi licenses in Bicester, awarded Arora, who is 39 years old, a certificate in which his outstanding work is recognized.
The taxi driver had received a safeguard training course organized by the Council just a few months before the incident, in December 2016.
He stressed: “The training was very useful. Thanks to the cases that I read in the safeguard course, I was able to recognize the signs and quickly detect that it was a case of capturing minors. “
The Gloucestershire police have also praised Arora, local authorities have said that his intervention prevented the girl from suffering serious damage.
Gloucestershire police detective and agent Ian Bennett said: “I do not have enough words to praise the taxi driver for his intervention in this case. There is no doubt that he prevented the teenager from being hurt and provided vital evidence for the accusation. “
“Training in safeguards for taxi drivers is very important, as can be seen in this case, so it would be good if it were extended to other parts of the country.”