Cabbie found guilty of sex assault

A cabbie accused of groping two passengers has been found guilty of sexually assaulting one of the women but cleared of acting inappropriately with the other.

IPSWICH: A cabbie accused of groping two passengers has been found guilty of sexually assaulting one of the women but cleared of acting inappropriately with the other.

During a four-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Gary Mills, 49, admitted having a “laugh and a joke” with the women after collecting them as fares in his cab but denied touching them indecently.

Mills was cleared of reaching towards one of the woman as she sat in the back of his cab and touching her left knee and thigh.

However he was found guilty of sexually assaulting the second woman after visiting her at her home after giving her a lift in his cab.

The court heard that on that occasion Mills put his hands under the woman's shirt while giving her a hug.

When the woman turned away and covered her breast with her hand Mills put his hand over hers and squeezed it.

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Mills, of Tudor Place, Ipswich, denied two offences of sexual assault. Sentence was adjourned until the week commencing January 18 for a pre-sentence report.

Giving evidence during the trial, Mills denied touching the first alleged victim's knee or thigh during the journey in his cab.

He claimed she had given him her telephone number and he had subsequently called her a couple of times to see how she was and what she was doing.

He admitted laughing and joking with the second woman and asking her if the fishnets she was wearing were stockings.

He claimed when he dropped her off he told her that if he was passing her house he would call in and she had said that would be fine.

He had subsequently called on her and claimed he had made a “tongue in cheek” comment along the lines of “do you want to go upstairs then?” to which she had replied “no”.

He admitted hugging the woman as he left her house but denied putting his hand under her shirt and reaching up to her bra strap.

He also denied that when the woman covered her breast with her hand he put his hand on top of hers and squeezed it.

RICHARD Morphew, director of Hawk Express Cabs Ltd, where Mills worked, stressed the company has stringent rules regarding its employees.

Mr Morphew said: “All drivers that work for us are CRB checked, approved and licensed by Ipswich Borough Council, prior to joining us.

“We are very strict on the behaviour of our drivers to all customers, and at the point our management was made aware of the accusations made towards Mr Mills, he was called to the office and suspended whilst an investigation took place regarding the complaint.

“We also made the Ipswich Borough Council Licensing Office aware, who, after speaking to the police, suspended his licence.

“We at Hawk Express Cabs Ltd have a data protection policy in place which all drivers have to read and sign when working with us.

“Information used in any manner other than for the purpose of their job will be construed as gross misconduct and may be punishable by the applicable laws.”

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