A 34-year old Indian cabbie was today handed out a suspended jail term of 10-months on charges of sexually assaulting a drunken teenager in Australia last year.
A Brisbane district court today heard that Indian driver Harmeet Singh sexually assaulted the 18-year-old after picking her up in his taxi from Brisbane's Fortitude Valley in the early hours of November 14 last year.
Singh pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault as the court heard that the abuse took place after the young woman realised she did not have the money for the fare.
The court was told that the cabbie kissed his passenger and offered her money for sex when she disclosed that she could not pay the fare.
Giving the sentence, Judge Milton Griffin said Singh had "a high degree of responsibility as a taxi driver" to ensure the safety of passengers.
"What you did was in fact quite the opposite," he said.
Media reports said that Singh dropped the girl off some distance from her home, but soon returned and offered to drive her the rest of the way.
However, he instead turned the cab around and stopped a short time later when she started crying.
Singh then kissed her and then put his hand under her dress, before offering her money and telling her to get in the back of the taxi.
The teenager then got out of the car and ran home, and filed a complaint with police two days later.
Singh initially denied assaulting her and told police she had offered sexual favours in lieu of her fare.
The court was told that Singh, who is living in Australia on a spouse visa, had lost his job as a result of his behaviour.