Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Taxi Man Cleared of Sexual Assault

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Taxi Man Cleared of Sexual Assault

Article excerpt

A man once convicted of indecently assaulting a female taxi passenger in his cab has been cleared of another sexual assault.

A jury unanimously acquitted Parvez Akhtar of sexual assault at Teesside Crown Court yesterday afternoon.

He was accused of being the taxi driver who picked up a student from Middlesbrough town centre then, while driving her to her Stockton home, indecently assaulted her on March 18 last year.

Akhtar, 35, of Errol Street, Middlesbrough, denied the charge.

The jury was told of his previous convictions at Teesside Crown Court in 2004, for indecent assault and false imprisonment - which took place in a taxi driven by him.

Akhtar did not reply to questions in police interviews, and chose not to take the stand in court to defend himself.

Peter Makepeace, defending, said he did not dispute the student had been sexually assaulted, but that another man committed the offence.

He said the student had drunk six glasses of wine and two pints of Guinness on a night out, which might have impaired her judgment. …

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