A ‘PREDATORY’ man who pretended to be a taxi driver to lure an intoxicated teen into his car before sexually assaulting her has had his jail term more than trebled.
Ricardas Mikuckis denied assaulting the female – who was 18 at the time – after he agreed to take her home to Barry in the early hours of August 29, 2019, but was convicted by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court in May.
The court heard CCTV had captured the 33-year-old from Newport loitering in his red Ford Kuga on Greyfriars Road in Cardiff city centre when the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, left a club looking for a taxi.
After watching her talk to a taxi driver, who lent her his phone to try and call someone to provide the fare home before she walked off, Mikuckis took his opportunity and pulled his car up alongside the victim.
Believing him to be a licensed taxi driver, the victim got in to the vehicle. She became alarmed when they neared Barry but the driver took an unexpected turn off the A4231 Barry Docks Link Road into a secluded lane.
Despite the victim telling him he was going the wrong way, Mikuckis stopped his vehicle before calmly getting out, locking the doors and smoking a cigarette.
He then returned and sexually assaulted the victim, kissing and touching her, before she managed to fight him off and flee the scene.
The alarm was raised and following painstaking trawls of CCTV and using ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology, Mikuckis was traced and arrested. A cigarette butt found at the scene also contained his DNA.
Mikuckis denied sexual assault but was found guilty and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.
His sentence was referred to the Court of Appeal by solicitor general Lucy Frazer under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.
And today the court found Mikuckis to be a dangerous offender and ruled that the sentence was unduly lenient.
The court increased the original sentence to four years and six months’ imprisonment, followed by five years on licence.
After the hearing at the Court of Appeal, Ms Frazer said: “Mikuckis took advantage of a vulnerable woman, offering safety when in reality he sought only to take advantage.
“I am glad the Court of Appeal saw fit to increase his sentence and I hope today’s decision offers some comfort to his victim.”