Nine months in jail for cabbie who groped woman’s breasts

IPSWICH: A pervert cabbie who grabbed a passenger’s breasts while taking her home from a Christmas party is today beginning a nine-month jail sentence.

Five months before last December’s attack Ghalam Sakhi, of Pickwick Road, Ipswich, was convicted by the town’s magistrates of a public order offence after asking an 18-year-old woman to show him her breasts.

At the 24-year-old’s Ipswich Crown Court sentencing for his latest offence Judge Peter Thompson described the married father-of-two as having an unhealthy interest in young women and needed to be stopped.

Judge Thompson said: “You were taking the victim on a journey in your taxi back to her home. On the evidence you diverted from the route you should have been taking.

“On the evidence you assaulted her by trying to touch her breasts and succeeded. She was frightened and remained frightened afterwards and she has been affected for some considerable time after the event.

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“You had a previous conviction – not for a sex offence, but a public order offence – which arose out of a very similar incident. On that occasion you didn’t actually touch the victim, but you exploited your position as a taxi driver. You took home an 18-year-old girl when you asked her to expose her breasts which she would not do.

“You are somebody who has got an unhealthy interest in young girls and their bodies and you need to be stopped.”

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Sakhi, who worked part-time in a kebab shop after leaving his job as a cabbie, had denied sexually assaulting the woman, but was convicted at Ipswich Crown Court last month.

He had picked up her and three friends from the Crown Pub in Claydon on December 19.

During Sakhi’s trial the court heard that after dropping off the other three women he had driven the 20-year-old to a road in the Chantry area of Ipswich and had sexually assaulted her after locking the car door.

The woman had agreed to have sex with Sakhi in the back of his taxi thinking it would give her a chance to escape. She had then grabbed her handbag, opened the door and ran off.

In addition to being jailed a sex offenders’ prevention order was made against Sakhi. Part of the conditions bar him from working as a taxi driver for the next five years.

n What do you think about Sakhi’s sentencing? E-mail or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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