A pervert minicab driver who carried out an “appalling” sexual assault on a passenger has been jailed for six years.
David James still maintains he was innocent of the terrifying attack on the vulnerable woman in the back of his minicab in the early hours.
Recorder Simon Taylor QC told the 72-year-old great grandfather that drivers were in a position of great trust.
“You breached that trust in the most foul way by taking advantage of this young woman – of her being alone and in drink,” he said.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that the harm will be lasting to some degree. There are also elements of degradation and humiliation.”
James, of Sturdee Avenue, Gillingham, denied assault by penetration but was convicted last month.
Maidstone Crown Court heard James was working for a Chatham minicab firm when he drove the woman, 25, and three friends home from a nightclub in November last year.
She was the last to be dropped off in the early hours. As she took the change from her fare the father-of-three he kissed her, thrusting his tongue in her mouth.
She dropped her purse in the footwell and then found James had joined her in the back.
She tried to escape but James kissed her again and put his hand down her top. He then lifted her dress, pulled down her tights and assaulted her.
The victim told of being left in a “sobbing heap” and said she afterwards repeatedly showered and scrubbed herself because she felt so unclean.
James claimed the woman was “up for it” and twice snogged him. He insisted nothing else happened.
He said: “I was a bit surprised getting a kiss from a young girl. I thought: ‘Happy birthday.”
Asked if he sexually assaulted the woman, he replied: “No, definitely not. I am a bit old for that.”
Recorder Taylor said he had given anxious consideration to imposing an extended sentence for public protection.
But he added: “Although your attitude to women, and in particular to the victim, is appalling and gives rise to real concern to a risk of reoffending, I don’t think you meet the criteria for an extended sentence within the Act.”
A sexual offences prevention order was made and James’ name will appear on the sex offenders’ register for life.