The taxi driver on trial for indecently assaulting a teenage passenger has been found guilty.
Javeed Hameedi, 40, appeared in the Auckland District Court on a charge of indecently assaulting an 18-year-old after he took her home from a night out in the city about 2am in November last year.
After a judge-alone trial before Judge Heather Simpson, the former part-time driver for Auckland Co-Op Taxis was convicted of the assault.
Hameedi told the court this afternoon that he touched her because he thought they were having a friendly conversation and wanted to reassure her it would be okay to smoke drugs at her house.
During their journey, the woman said he started asking "strange and uncomfortable questions".
"[He said] you look like a Russian girl, I like your smile, do you have a boyfriend, do you do drugs. He just wanted to know everything."
The topic of drugs also came up and she told him she smoked marijuana.
Hameedi said he'd never done it before but said it was "something that I decided to do at that time".
He asked to come in so they could "smoke the drugs", she told him no, maybe later or another day.
"I wanted to persuade her that it was okay to smoke in her house," he said.
CCTV footage from the taxi shows Hameedi touching the woman's shoulder, legs and bends his upper body down into her lap.
She said he kissed her between her upper thighs but Hameedi said he kissed her knee.
"I could not feel any discomfort in her face or voice or anything so I felt like an environment of warmth of the conversation," he told the court.
Earlier today, the woman told the court after they'd stopped she kept asking to get out because he had locked the doors. She said she felt vulnerable because she had been drinking and didn't feel well.
Hameedi said he asked her for a hug, she consented so he got out of the taxi and walked around to her side of the car.
"I thought it was going to be the start of a friendship. Around the drugs, I was interested, she was interested, talking all the way."
The woman gave evidence that Hameedi pushed her up against the door, kissed her face and neck and touched her body.
Judge Simpson said it was clear from the CCTV evidence that during the journey the woman became nervous and uncomfortable and moved away from the driver.
"It appeared to me, clear that she was trying to get away from him. I do not accept that she gave permission for him to hug her or touch her in any way."
Judge Simpson convicted Hameedi of indecent assault.