A taxi driver from Leamington has been jailed after he was convicted of grabbing a woman between her legs when she got out of his cab following a row about the fare.
Balvinder Singh had denied sexually assaulting the woman after driving her home from Coventry city centre, claiming ‘it just did not happen’.
But following a trial at Warwick Crown Court last month, the jury took just two hours to find Singh, 56, of Tachbrook Road, Leamington, guilty by a unanimous verdict.
And following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, Judge Barry Berlin, sitting at Wolverhampton Crown Court, jailed Singh for eight months and ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years.
The judge had told Singh: “I take the view that a taxi driver who is convicted of breach of trust by a sexual offence committed against a passenger ought to go immediately to custody.”
During the trial the jury heard that in the early hours of Sunday January 17 last year a woman in her 50s contacted the police to say she had been sexually assaulted by a taxi driver.
“The defendant’s case is that he was the taxi driver during this incident, but that no sexual assault took place,” explained prosecutor Tariq Shakoor.”
When the taxi Mr Singh was driving with the woman in it arrived at her home there was a dispute over the fare, which was higher than she thought it should be.
The woman became abusive, and called the police to complain about being overcharged – but although the operator told her it was a civil matter, the line remained open and recorded the exchange, which ended with her paying Singh £10.
She complained she could not get out, so Singh got out to open the door, and when she got out he then grabbed hold of her.
“He put his hand between her legs, over her clothing, in the area of her private parts. She couldn’t believe what he’d done,” said Mr Shakoor.
The jury heard that a neighbour of the woman witnessed the incident.
Singh denied touching her between the legs, accusing her of making it all up to get him into trouble – but the jury rejected his version of what happened.