A TAXI driver has denied sexually assaulting a female passenger after picking her up as she walked through the rain in the early hours of the morning.
Randgar Mohammad, 30, is alleged to have offered the woman a free lift home before kissing her on the face and neck.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mohommad’s alleged victim was then asked for her phone number and, terrified, gave it to him before leaving the taxi and running home.
A jury heard that the alleged attack happened on May 6 after the victim had spent the night at a friend’s house playing video games.
The friend, who appeared as a witness, told the jury how the victim told her about the alleged attack just days after it happened.
She said: “She told me he had tried to come onto her and touched her in a sexual way, and that she had felt threatened and had to get out of the car and run home after the attack.
“He leaned in and kissed her, and had his hand on her leg.
“She was distressed and upset when she told me about it.”
During cross-examination, Mohammad, of Dean Street, South Shields, denied all the allegations made against him.
He told the court that there had been nothing unusual about the short drive and that the pair had just had “normal taxi conversations” before he dropped her off near her home.
When Mohammad was arrested and questioned by police he denied that anything had happened between the alleged victim and himself.
Mohammad, who is originally from Iraq, told the court he had only wanted them to be “friends” or for her to become a “regular customer”.
During police interview, he said: “I have not touched anyone in my taxi, I am married and my wife means the world to me.”
Stephen Duffield, defending, told the court Mohammad has been driving a taxi since 2011 and has no previous convictions.
Michael Bunch, prosecuting, claims Mohammad had asked the woman if the two of them could go to the beach for a bit and then kissed her on the face and neck.
He is also said to have asked if the pair could meet up the following day.
Mr Bunch told the jury how the victim received a telephone call and, recognising the defendant’s voice, hung up immediately.
Mohammad denies one count of sexual assault.
The trial continues.