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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:39 pm 
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Well this is all a bit odd. For a start, it reads like something that's just happened, when in fact it seemed to take place last year sometime. And everything else about it is slightly bizarre as well, as will become apparent as you read it... :-s


Fake taxi: How a girl's night out in Cambridge took an unexpected turn for the worse

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/c ... y-15510760

"I thought what the hell could have actually happened last night if we didn't get pulled over by the police"

Image
Image: Katie Perryman/Cambridge News

What seemed to be a harmless taxi ride into town turned into a nightmare journey for two Cambridgeshire women when the taxi booked by their hotel turned out to be fake.

Katie Perryman, 22, and her colleague Shirley Gooden decided that instead of booking a costly taxi home to the Cambridgeshire village of Buckden after a night out they would stay at the Oakley Lodge Hotel instead.

By booking a cheap hotel just a short jaunt from the city, they wouldn't have to worry about it costing and arm and a leg to get home, and having a hotel to go back to made things a lot more stress free. Or so they thought.

The two ladies were heading out for dinner at The Varsity restaurant before going for a few drinks and a night out. These plans however got turned upside when a member of staff from the hotel booked them a fake taxi into Cambridge.

Katie, explained how they landed themselves in such a scary situation.

She said: "We were running late for our dinner reservations, as you do when you are getting ready, so when we came down to the reception we just asked someone to book us a taxi into town.

"I didn't really think much of it until the taxi turned up. It was a black car with no taxi signs or labels and blacked out windows.

"The driver was outside the car talking to the member of staff, so we thought they must be friends or something that's why he called this company first. I thought it may have been a private company or something so we went ahead and got in the car."

Once the driver returned to the car they set off to the city centre to make their dinner reservations - but the journey took a turn for the unexpected.

Katie added: "First of all the driver turned around and asked us where we were going, which I thought he should already have known from the man booking the taxi.

"Then the driver was speeding and going really fast down the roads. When we came to a junction with traffic lights he realised the light was green to turn right, so he switched lanes and sped off in that direction instead of the one we were in.

"We asked him if he knew where he was going and he said to us he was taking a short cut into town because of traffic.

"Once we turned the corner all I could see was blue flashing lights surrounding the car. Police came out of nowhere and pulled over our 'taxi'.

"Everything around me just turned blue with police lights.

"The driver got out of the car and an officer came over and spoke to us about how the car was being tracked."

She continued: "An officer even came over to us and asked us why we were in this guy's car. We had to tell the officers about the hotel and them booking the 'taxi' so we could make our dinner booking.

"The officer said ''he's not a taxi driver we have been tracking him all day'. At that point I thought oh my god who is this person and what could have happened to us.

"The officers were so nice and we ended getting a lift from them to The Varsity restaurant.

"After all that we tried as hard as we could to enjoy the evening but actually ended up getting a real taxi all the way home in the end.

"I woke up the next morning and thought what the hell could have actually happened last night if we didn't get pulled over by the police.

"The whole thing was terrifying."

Cambridgeshrie Constabulary response

A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshrie Constabulary said: "Officers on patrol on October 13 stopped a vehicle they believed was being driven without insurance.

"Don Weerakoon, 29, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, was arrested and later charged with using a motor vehicle without third party insurance.

"He appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on October 15."

British Transport Police response

A spokeswoman from the British Transport Police said: "A 29-year-old man appeared at Cambridge Magistrates Court on October 15 charged with fraud by false representation, and a further count of driving a vehicle without third party insurance.

"Don Weerakoon, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, will appear at Peterborough Magistrates Court on February 21 in relation to the first charge, and again on 27 February at Cambridge Magistrates Court in relation to the second.’"

Court sentencing

On February 21 Don Weekaroon was remanded on unconditional bail until May 29, 2019 at 10am in the Cambridge Court House. The reason for the adjournment for the trial was for the defendant to attend.

Don Weekaroon appeared at Cambridge Magistrates Court on February 27 in relation for the offence of no insurance. It was dismissed as there was no evidence offered.

Don Weekaroon appeared before Cambridge Magistrates again on May 29 and the case was once again dismissed as there was no evidence offered.

Oakley Lodge Hotel in Cambridge has been contacted for a comment.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:43 pm 
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These two pieces from February perhaps help to put things in context. This incident must have taken place after the fake taxi incident, but before his latest court appearance for driving uninsured, but which was 'case dismissed' because again no evidence was offered.

But no mention of this below in the latest piece above, and presumably still to stand trial for the stuff below, but presumably there's no mention in the piece above for legal reasons #-o


Armed police respond to reports of woman attacked with fake gun

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/c ... a-15848114

Witnesses saw armed police and blood in an alley near Victoria Road

Witnesses have reported seeing armed police off Victoria Road today, February 18.

It is believed forensics are investigating in the alley at French's Road. This is next to St Luke's C of E Primary School.

There are earlier reports of armed police including a man in a balaclava being seen with a gun. A witness claimed there is white powder and blood strewn on the ground.

A witness saw a police presence on the corner of Victoria Road and Stretten Avenue, and there have been reports of police in nearby Hilda Street.

Reporter Samar Maguire is headed to the scene to learn more. We have also contacted police for more information.


Man charged after attempted kidnapping with fake gun in Cambridge

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/c ... s-15861704

Don Weerakoon, 29, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, was arrested on Monday (February 18)

A man has been charged after an attempted kidnapping in Cambridge earlier this week.

Don Weerakoon, 29, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, was arrested after a litany of alleged offences - including possessing an imitation firearm, dangerous driving and using a drug with the intent to commit an indictable offence.

Armed police rushed to French's Road, Cambridge, on Monday (February 18) after reports of a man attacking a woman with a fake gun.

When officers responded to the scene at around 10am, they found an imitation firearm.

A woman in her 30s was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital with minor injuries.

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: "A man has been charged following an attempted kidnap in Cambridge on Monday (18 February).

"Don Weerakoon, 29, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, was arrested on Monday and charged with kidnap, two counts of possession of an imitation firearm, administering a drug with intent to commit an indictable offence and dangerous driving."


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:21 pm 
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At a guess I would say the ladies didn't turn up to the trial.

I'm also surprised all the charges aren't/weren't dealt with at the same time. :-k

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:02 am 
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"The driver got out of the car and an officer came over and spoke to us about how the car was being tracked."

so police had been looking for this vehicle :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:25 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
At a guess I would say the ladies didn't turn up to the trial.

I'm also surprised all the charges aren't/weren't dealt with at the same time. :-k


All seems very odd though:

- reads like several blue light vehicles involved, which looks a bit OTT for a 'fake taxi', and claim was that they were tracking him 'all day'? May be exaggerated a bit for the press, but does seem slightly excessive compared with the norm.

- and why no mention of council licensing being involved in any way?

- and what's the involvement of British Transport Police all about? They've got quotes from the local plod *and* BTP, without any obvious explanation why...

- and apart from the charge of driving uninsured, the only other one in relation to the fake taxi was the 'fraud by misrepresentation' one, which was presumably dropped, but certainly seems unusual. And no sign of any charge in relation to a licensing offence?

Of course, the other articles about the kidnapping etc perhaps put this individual in context. Suspect they had their eye on him mainly for other reasons, and in the grand scheme of things the fake taxi stuff is a bit of a red herring [-( 8-[

Also odd the way the police have obviously provided statements in relation to the original charges at the time they were made and with regard to earlier court appearances, but no trace of them being reported online before this weekend :-s


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Quote:
so police had been looking for this vehicle :wink:

In particular the fella driving it.

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