Judge tells him he had breached trust but gave him a suspended jail term
A taxi driver who sexually molested a drunken passenger in the back of his car has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Leeds Crown Court heard Mubashir Butt collected the woman from Brighouse and was driving her to Kirkburton in Huddersfield on the evening of October 9 last year when an issue arose about paying the fare.
He told her: “I don’t think you have enough money to pay for this taxi – you can pay in different ways.”
Christopher Smith, prosecuting, told the court yesterday the woman told him that suggestion was not acceptable and asked him just to drive her home.
While driving along Penistone Road he did not take the turn she expected towards where she lived but continued on to a petrol station.
CCTV showed him parking up close to the exit, getting out of the driver’s seat and getting in the back of the taxi.
The headlights illuminated suggesting he had locked the car once he was inside. His victim tried to get out but discovered she could not. She was wearing a tight low cut dress and he put his arm around her and tried to kiss her.
Mr Smith said she pulled away from him and he then put both hands on her breasts and touched her skin before stroking her right leg while leaning in towards her.
His passenger screamed and when she again pushed him away he got out of the back of the taxi and then drove her home. She arrived in a hysterical state and ran in barefoot carrying her shoes in her hand.
When the attack was reported to the police and Butt was arrested he claimed he had only got into the back of the car to help her extract money from her purse. He said they had gone to the petrol station so should get cash from the machine for the fare.
John Boumphrey, representing Butt, said he had found it hard to talk about what he had done but had expressed feelings of guilt and shame.
He was the only cash earner supporting his family and also sent money back to family in Pakistan so if he was jailed it would cause hardship to them. The probation service had also indicated they felt they could work with him.
Butt, 35 of Tate Naylor Street, Dewsbury, admitted sexual assault and was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months with 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 100 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said his passenger was vulnerable because she was drunk, adding: “You as a taxi driver acted in breach of trust in carrying out this sexual assault. She expected to be conveyed to her home address.”
He said Butt had no reason to get into the back of the car with her in breach of his training but had clearly decided an opportunity had arisen because of her condition.
However, he had not pursued his actions and had never been in trouble before for such behaviour.