A TAXI driver has admitted attempted sexual assault on an undercover police officer 11 months after he was cleared of sexually assaulting a teenager.
Jamil Iqbal, 41, had invited the woman into the front seat, made ‘overt sexual remarks’ to her, waved a vibrator at her, asked her to touch it and told her he loved her.
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Father-of-six Iqbal, who was at the wheel of his own car, had just dropped off his wife of 23 years and family when the incident happened and struck because he ‘couldn't control himself that day’, Burnley Crown Court was told.
The attempt to touch the officer came after Iqbal was cleared of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, by a jury, in January last year. Iqbal had been accused of groping the teenager in his cab in April 2010.
The defendant, of Humphrey Street, Brierfield, recently working as a part-time takeaway driver, admitted attempted sexual assault on the undercover officer, in December last year.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision.
Iqbal was ordered to sign the sexual offenders register for 10 years and was made subject to a 10-year sexual offences prevention order, banning him from applying for a taxi licence, working as a taxi driver and from working as a driver on any other form of public transport.
Prosecutor Stephen Parker said last December 7, an undercover officer called Brierfield-based Victors Taxis, just after midnight. A cab arrived at 1.30am, displaying the logo of another firm.
The defendant said he was Victors, the officer got in and Iqbal started asking her personal questions, such as did she have a boyfriend. He gave her his mobile number and said he would pick her up later.
The officer, in company with a colleague, rang the mobile number on December 16, requesting drop-offs at pubs in Burnley and Barrowford. Iqbal arrived, not displaying the livery of any taxi firm. The officers got in and Iqbal explained he wasn't really working. The first officer was dropped off in Burnley, leaving the second in the back of the vehicle. The defendant told her to get in the front but the officer declined.
Mr Parker said: “He then diverted the subject to sex, asking whether she liked sex or not, produced a plastic carrier bag from the front passenger seat and produced a vibrator from the carrier bag.
“He pushed the vibrator towards her, asking her to touch it. He asked her if she was scared and asked if she could keep it a secret.”
The prosecutor said by the time the defendant was dropping the officer off, he was saying: “I love you. I love you.” Iqbal was arrested minutes later.
Defending Iqbal, Afzal Anwar said his taxi licence had been revoked. The barrister continued: “He’s sorry. He does demonstrate clear remorse.”
Passing sentence, Judge Beverley Lunt said: “This undercover officer has probably saved some innocent victim from being subjected, as she was, to this extremely unpleasant incident.”