Taxi driver convicted of sex assault on sleeping student

 

A taxi driver who took advantage of a young woman who fell asleep in his car has been found guilty of sexual assault.

Abdul Mannan (39), Rhebogue Meadows, Limerick, had denied sexually assaulting the first-year college student (19) in Limerick on February 7th, 2011.

In her evidence at Limerick Circuit Court the victim, who is now in her final year at Mary Immaculate College, said she had been out socialising with friends as part of rag week celebrations on the night of the assault.

She said she had left Molly’s Bar on Ellen Street in Limerick on her own shortly after 11pm and got into Mannan’s taxi.

She fell asleep in the front seat shortly after she got into the taxi and when she woke, Mr Mannan was touching her intimately.

The victim said that she was shocked but tried to stay calm and told him to stop, which he did “pretty much immediately”.

Mannan, who is originally from Bangladesh, drove his passenger back into town and left her out at the train station where she got another taxi home and called the Garda.

In his defence, Mannan (39), a father of two, said that he had been living in Ireland with his wife for 12 years and had been driving a taxi for two years.

Mannan, who has no previous convictions, had worked in manufacturing companies in the Limerick region prior to getting the taxi licence.

Admitted actions

He admitted his actions but claimed it was instigated by the student, who threatened him that he would be in trouble with City Campus, her student accommodation, if he did not comply.

He claimed the girl had become abusive and started shouting at him when she woke up and realised he had taken a wrong turn.

He claimed she took out a condom and asked him to “make sex with her” which he refused.

Asked by Michael Fitzgibbon, defending, why she would do this, he replied: “I think maybe she is not a good girl.”

Utter nonsense

John O’Sullivan, prosecuting, said Mannan’s contention that he was forced to engage in a sexual act with the student was “utter nonsense” and he told him he had “taken advantage of the sleeping girl”.

After almost three hours of deliberations, the jury of nine men and three women returned a guilty verdict yesterday.

Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing and remanded Mannan in custody.