A Nigerian taxi driver pleaded guilty to assaulting a female passenger by repeatedly touching her thigh as she sat beside him on her way home after a night out.
50-year-old Yomi Matti, a married father of four, was given a three-month suspended sentence on April 1, for sexual assault in what a judge described as the â€œultimate nightmare scenarioâ€ for an unaccompanied woman in a taxi.
In a victim statement, the young woman said that she did not want to see Matti go to jail, but â€œdidnâ€™t want it to happen to somebody elseâ€.
Suspending the sentence for a year, Judge David McHugh said the accused had breached his position of trust as a taxi driver â€œin the most profound wayâ€ and ordered that â‚¬1,100 which Matti had brought to court as a token of remorse be given to the victim, either to keep or donate to charity.
Yomi pleaded guilty to sexual assault of the woman on November 1 last year. A garda told Blanchardstown District Court the victim had taken the taxi from Harcourt Street in the early hours of November 1, 2014. She was sitting in the front passenger seat.
â€œOn the way out, the driver touched her on the leg on a number of occasions, that is the crux of it really,â€ the garda said.
Reading the victim impact statement, Judge McHugh said it was a â€œvery fair reportâ€ and the garda agreed that the victim was a â€œvery genuine young ladyâ€.
â€œHer motivation was totally unselfish in reporting the matter. She just didnâ€™t want it to happen to somebody else.â€ he said.
Yomiâ€™s solicitor said the taxi driver was originally from Nigeria, and had lived in Ireland for 15 years and had driven a taxi for six years and had no previous convictions of any kind. Before that, he had jobs as a security officer and with IBM.
He had a good work history and had never been in trouble, even for a road traffic offence. His solicitor said a conviction would have a huge effect on Yomi, his family and his livelihood.
â€œThis gentleman admitted to sexual assault on a lady when he was given a position of trust as a taxi man and it would be the ultimate nightmare scenario for unaccompanied women in this situation,â€ Judge McHugh said. â€œIt is the case that this gentleman has breached that position of trust in the most profound way with a most vulnerable young woman.â€
The accused accepted the victim impact report was very fair and he had â‚¬1,100 in court for the woman as a token of his remorse. The judge said the victim had clearly stated that she has â€œno appetite to see this man go to jailâ€ but she â€œdoes want justice to be doneâ€. He commended the victimâ€™s â€œforbearanceâ€.
â€œIt is the ultimate nightmare for any young lady,â€ he added. â€œThankfully, there were no long-term psychological effects or physical injuries.â€
Source: Independent Irish