POLICE are hunting for a black cab driver who carried out a sex attack on a young woman.
The 23-year-old has been left “very upset and distressed” after being attacked in the back of the taxi just yards from her front door.
She had been standing in the street after a night out with friends waiting for a cab that had been ordered for her, but got into another taxi that pulled up by mistake.
Detective Constable Liam Maguire, at Lothian and Borders Police said: “She thought it was the taxi ordered for her and got in. She was driven the three or four minute journey to her street and at that time the driver has indecently assaulted her.
“She’s been very distressed and has run to her home to alert her family, who called the police.”
The attack took place in Mayfield, Midlothian, after the woman had been driven a short distance from where she left her friends in Dalkeith.
The cabbie is described as being in his late 30s, 5ft 6in tall, of medium build, with short dirty blond hair.
He was clean-shaven, spoke with an Edinburgh accent, and was wearing light blue denims, a white or cream t-shirt with a dark logo or motif on the front.
Officers are working with black cab firms in Edinburgh, where the taxi was registered, to identify drivers who were on duty when the attack happened in the early hours of Sunday morning around 2.40am.
They are appealing to anyone who may have been dropped off by a black cab in Dalkeith at that time.
Officers have already obtained CCTV images of the taxi and discovered the vehicle had Edinburgh City Council plates.
DC Maguire added: “Enquiries are being carried out with the Edinburgh Cab Office.
“We are also continuing to examine CCTV from the Dalkeith and Mayfield areas, as well as cameras from Lothian buses.
“We are also looking into whether this was a Midlothian-based driver who was returning home after a shift.”
Derek Bridgeford, spokesman for the Scottish Taxi Federation, said: “All taxi drivers will cooperate with the police over this matter as we don’t want people like that driving black cabs.”
The incident echoes a similar sex attack last year when an 19-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a man pretending to be a private hire cabbie, after she was picked up outside the City nightclub opposite the city’s Waverley Station.