Our client is a 43 year old taxi driver from western Sydney.
Charges of indecent assault were brought against him after a female passenger claimed that he touched her inappropriately on the arms and legs with his left hand while driving her home after a work Christmas party.
Those charges carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment when tried in the District Court, or two years in the Local Court.
The complainant gave a statement to the effect that she was seated in the passenger seat of our client’s taxi when he touched her inappropriately in the vicinity of the Anzac Bridge. She claimed to have felt “petrified” and that she “tried to leave the cab”. She stated that while driving the taxi, our client also bent down and looked up her skirt.
Our client vehemently denied the allegations, instructing that he did no such thing and that he was trying to help the complainant locate her wallet when she complained about having lost it.
Our defence team obtained CCTV footage from within the taxi, which showed the complainant smiling and at no point appearing uncomfortable or “scared” as claimed, around the Anzac Bridge area and everywhere else. She appeared intoxicated and was fumbling around to locate something. The footage was lacking to an extent as it did not depict the footwell area.
When faced with the footage on the witness stand, the complainant admitted that her claims about being afraid and repeatedly asking to leave the taxi were inconsistent with the direct evidence – which showed her smiling, at ease and repeatedly bending over in an apparent effort to locate something.
In the result, the magistrate was not satisfied that the prosecution has established its case and dismissed the charges – leaving our client free to get on with his life.