Bogus Nelson taxi driver jailed for sexual assault

Lancashire Telegraph: Tassawar Shah Tassawar Shah

A BOGUS taxi driver who sexually assaulted a woman he picked up outside a Burnley nightclub has been jailed.

Tassawar Shah, 28, had got on top of the victim and pinned her down after going down an alley instead of taking her to her home in Padiham.

She finally escaped by giving Shah her number, and telling him he could go back to her house later, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Shah, of Hartley Street, Nelson, admitted sexual assault, in December last year. He was jailed for nine months and three weeks and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

Kimberley Obrusik, prosecuting, said the victim, who is in her 30s, had been out in Burnley town centre, last December 22, and had been to Lava and Ignite club.

She left by the main entrance and saw a blue taxi waiting across the road. She asked if the driver could take her to Padiham and the defendant said yes, despite not having a taxi licence. Shah started talking to the woman and told her he had a friend who could get cocaine, if she wanted it.

The defendant drove towards Padiham and the victim said she did not feel threatened at that stage, as they were just chatting. Shah then admitted he was not a taxi driver and did not hold a licence.

Miss Obrusik said the defendant pulled into an alleyway, stopped and the next thing the woman knew, he was on top of her, pinning her down.

The prosecutor said in an attempt to get away, the woman told Shah she would give him her number and they could go back to her house.

The victim supplied her number to the defendant and he said: “You had better answer your phone.” The woman repeatedly told him she would as he removed himself from being on top of her. She saw him pulling his pants up while he moved back into the driver's seat. The woman got out of the vehicle and called police. Shah phoned her 12 times that night.

Miss Obrusik said when the defendant was arrested and interviewed, he denied any sexual touching. He claimed when the victim approached the vehicle, he immediately told her he did not hold a taxi licence, but she persuaded him to take her. The defendant alleged the woman repeatedly touched him, put her hands down his trousers and kissed his neck.

Shah told officers he didn't respond, has had a girlfriend and would not cheat. The court was told he had 12 offences on his record.

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