Taxi driver groped woman passenger

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A MARRIED taxi driver who groped a female passenger escaped jail after a judge said his “hands were tied” by sentencing guidelines.

Shaukat Khan twice touched the woman on her knee in the front passenger seat and felt her bottom as she climbed out of his cab.

He also asked the 21-year-old which sexual positions she preferred.

Sentencing 36-year-old Khan at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Michael Murphy said legal guidelines prevented him from imposing a jail term.

But he told Khan: “I would like you to know that there is no such thing as a sexual touching that is not serious.

“What makes this all the more serious is the fact that you were a taxi driver and the complainant was a passenger.

“A passenger is entitled to feel safe in a taxi. You have lost your job and livelihood as a result and that is probably all to the good.

“You should not be driving when you have the attitude you displayed on that particular night.

“Because of the sentencing guidelines I can’t deal with you so that you lose your liberty. But your attitude towards women and behaviour like this need to be challenged.”

Khan, of Malton Street, Pitsmoor, Sheffield, admitted sexual assault.

Ian West, prosecuting, said Khan worked for City Taxis at the time. The woman had ordered a taxi to take her to work at the city’s Northern General Hospital at 8pm on Saturday, July 28 last year.

Sukdev Garcha, defending, said Khan accepted his behaviour was “totally inappropriate.”

His licence had been suspended and it was unlikely he would work as a cabbie again.

“He has had two weeks in custody to reflect on his behaviour and he himself is disgusted with the way he behaved and knows his attitude needs addressing,” he said.

Judge Murphy gave Khan a three-year community order with supervision and ordered him to attend a sex offenders’ programme.