Taxi driver jailed for molesting drunken women passengers
A TOOWOOMBA taxi driver who on two separate occasions sexually molested drunk women passengers has been jailed.
Pakistani national Sayed Mirza Hussain had picked up a 53-year-old woman as she left the Cube Hotel about 12.30am, December 17, Toowoomba District Court heard.
After they arrived at the woman's address, she had given him permission to use her bathroom, Crown prosecutor Alisha Ballantyne said.
However, once inside the 34-year-old had forced himself onto the woman and kissed her on the lips.
Shocked, she pulled away but he had tried again and she had pushed him away and he had left, Ms Ballantyne said.
The woman went to police but before Husain could be identified, he had picked up a 27-year-old woman as she left the Cube Hotel in the early hours of January 27, last year.
Drunk, she fell asleep in his taxi but woke up to discover Hussain had driven past her house and into a nearby street.
He had then alighted from the car and tried to drag the woman by the arms and a scuffle ensued during which he had kissed her on the lips and repeatedly suggested they go inside, Ms Ballantyne said.
Hussain then undid her belt and forced his hand down the front of her jeans.
The woman had eventually pushed him away and told him to drive her home, which he did, Ms Ballantyne said.
Hussain pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault.
His barrister Jessica Goldie said her client had moved to Australia on a visa after his sister and father were killed by the Taliban in Pakistan.
Her client had a wife and son still living in Pakistan and had been working two jobs while in Australia and sending money back to them in the hope of bringing them to Australia too, she said.
Her client had no criminal history and had expressed "deep remorse, regret and shame", she said.
Judge Bernard Porter QC said the community relied on taxi drivers to get them home safely.
"This is the kind of assault that is every woman's nightmare," he said.
Judge Porter sentenced Hussain to 15 months in jail but ordered he be eligible to apply for release on parole after having served four months.