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18 March 2010

Taxi driver denies sexual assault of teenage student

A student with learning difficulties has told a court how a taxi driver locked her in his cab and sexually assaulted her.

The 19-year-old, from Portsmouth, had been out with friends in Guildhall Walk when she got a taxi home alone.

The woman said Muhammed Hasan had asked her to move from the back of the cab to the front seat.

She told Portsmouth Crown Court: 'I just kept thinking "don't go in the front because he might have a knife on him". I didn't know what he would do if I didn't.

'He just kept chatting to me like all the time like normal chat, like "did you have a good time".

'I was crying. I wanted to go home, he just kept driving. I was scared.'

She said that after he sexually assaulted her Hasan drove to a shop in Albert Road, Southsea, to buy condoms.

'He said he was just going in to get some condoms,' she said.

'He got out of the car and he locked the car.

'I don't think he locked it properly because I managed to open the door. I opened it and I ran. I was running and I think my heel broke.

'I reached for the handle and it wouldn't open at first but then it did, it just opened. I think I was shaking, that's probably why it didn't open.'

She said she called her mum and hid between two parked cars while she waited for her to arrive.

Prosecutor Gary Venturi told the court the woman had been to Babylon nightclub before calling Aqua Cars for a lift home.

Hasan was sent to pick her up just after 2am on March 28 last year.

Mr Venturi said: 'He either told her or asked her to get into the front seat.

'She did, not sure what was going on, not sure what else to do.

'Having got into the front seat Mr Hasan suggested that perhaps they could go somewhere in Southsea together.

'She said "no I want to go home".'

CCTV from the shop shows Hasan buying the contraceptives along with cans of Red Bull and an alcopop.

'He returned to the car to see she had gone,' Mr Venturi said. 'She had made good her escape.

'She got some distance before she was able to phone her mother for help.

'Her mother describes an hysterical phone call from her daughter.'

Hasan was arrested shortly after the police were called and told officers he had done nothing wrong.

The 35-year-old, of Toronto Road, Portsmouth, denies one charge of false imprisonment and one of sexual assault


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