Taxi driver faces jail for sexually assaulting passenger

A taxi driver faces jail after he was convicted of kissing a woman passenger after pouncing on her in the back of his cab.

Shawky Gabriel, also known as Joe, had admitted kissing the customer after claiming she became distressed when a Bee Gees song was played on his car radio.

But the woman, who is in her mid-20s told a jury at Lincoln Crown Court she did nothing to encourage Gabriel, of Primrose Way, Stamford, and was shocked when he sat next to her.

The jury heard Gabriel, who worked under the name Joe's Taxis, got in beside her and grabbed the woman after parking outside her home in Wittering.

Giving evidence, the woman said: "I explained exactly where the house was and the car stopped. For some reason I stayed in the taxi and he got out of his seat. I thought he was going to open the door for me or something.

"Then he got into the opposite side and sat next to me. He grabbed me, tried to kiss me and shoved his tongue down my throat."

When asked how long the kiss lasted she replied: "A couple of seconds. I was shocked. I could not believe it had happened."

The woman said she reported the incident two days later after speaking to her mother.

Gabriel was questioned by police and claimed the woman had led him on by remarking: "I wish I had a boyfriend like you."

But Gabriel was ordered to register as a sex offender after the jury took less than two hours to find him guilty of sexually assaulting the woman.

Gabriel, who no longer has a taxi licence, was cleared of sexually assaulting another customer whom he had picked up in Stamford a week earlier.

The woman, who is in her mid-30s, claimed Gabriel assaulted her during her journey home but Gabriel insisted any contact between them was accidental.

Gabriel denied two charges of sexual assault on May 24 and 31, last year.

Judge Ebraham Mooncey granted Gabriel conditional bail for the preparation of a probation report, but warned him that was no promise of avoiding jail when he is sentenced next month.