Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Taxi Driver Is Cleared of Sex Assault on Student; Jury Comes to Decision about Accusations in Just over an Hour

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Taxi Driver Is Cleared of Sex Assault on Student; Jury Comes to Decision about Accusations in Just over an Hour

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH LIGHTFOOT gareth.lightfoot@trinitymirror.com @GazetteCourt

A TAXI driver accused of touching and trying to kiss a female passenger after a video went viral on Facebook has been cleared by a jury.

Mohammed Rahman, 36, was accused of getting into the back seat of a Boro Taxis car with a teenage student, touching her hand and trying to kiss her.

The married dad-of-three denied the offence, saying he was merely trying to comfort her and had no sexual intentions.

The driver was challenged at the scene by two men, who filmed him in footage later posted on social media.

I was feeling very for her because thought I can't on the street.

The video was widely shared on Facebook and later led to an arrest.

Mohammed Rahman Jurors yesterday found Mr Rahman not guilty of sexual assault; a unanimous verdict after just over an hour's consideration.

He picked up the 19-year-old student, who had been asked to leave her family's home after an argument on the night of December 8 last year.

The student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was taken to a Normanby hotel but it was closed.

They later stopped on Dockside Road, Middlehaven, jurors were told.

Mr Rahman denied allegations that he got into the back uninvited and told her "cheat on your boyfriend, he'll never know".

He denied that he grabbed her hand and pulled it towards his shoulder trying to hug her.

"No, I didn't do things like that," he said, aided by a Bengali interpreter in court.

In his evidence, he said he was preparing to go home when the woman waved and asked for help finding a hotel as she had nowhere to go.

He said he agreed, for no fare: "I was feeling very sorry for her because I thought I can't leave her on the street.

"She was very alone at that time."

He said he took her to hotels, which were closed, then she asked him to drive around and directed him.

When they stopped, he said she asked him into the back to help her find a hotel for her on her phone. …

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