Limerick taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting student

A STUDENT yesterday denied claims she had demanded sex from a taxi driver after he made a wrong turn.

A STUDENT yesterday denied claims she had demanded sex from a taxi driver after he made a wrong turn.

The 21-year-old was giving evidence in the trial of Abdul Mannan, aged 39, of Rhebogue Meadows who has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting her in his taxi more than two years ago.

It is alleged the offence happened in the Castletroy area shortly before midnight on February 7, 2011.

In her evidence at Limerick Circuit Court the student, said she got into the accused man’s taxi at around 11pm outside Molly’s bar on Ellen Street.

The Mary Immaculate College student, said she had begun socialising earlier that evening at Scotts Bar as part of the college’s Rag Week celebrations.

She told the court she drank a nagin of vodka and two beers in Scott’s bar but didn’t have anything to drink at Molly’s Bar.

The witness, who is originally from Kerry, said she left Molly’s bar on her own and sat into the front passenger seat of Mr Mannan’s taxi.

She said she asked him to bring her home to City Campus on Lord Edward Street.

The woman told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that she fell asleep and woke up “five or ten” minutes later .

She said she looked out the window and didn’t recognise where she was, but knew she was not in town.

She said the taxi was still moving but the accused man had two of his fingers in her vagina and his other hand on the steering wheel.

The witness said she was shocked but tried to stay calm and told him to stop which he did “pretty much immediately”.

The court heard that following the incident, the accused who is originally from Bangladesh drove the women back into town and that she got another taxi home.

In garda interviews the accused man claimed the girl became aggressive and had started shouting at him and pushed the side of his head when she woke up.

He claimed she produced a condom and told him he had to have sex with her because he had taken a wrong turn.

He said he refused to have sex with her and that she forced him to put his two fingers in her vagina or else he would have “problems in City Campus”.

The alleged injured party insisted the claims were not true when they were put to her by barrister Michael Fitzgibbon during cross examination.

The trial continues.

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