A taxi driver who carried out a sex attack on a drunken, vulnerable passenger, has been jailed for seven years at Cardiff Crown Court.
Clifford Smith, 49, told police officers during the investigation: “If it’s put on a plate, you help yourself.”
According to the Bridgend and Porthcawl Gem, Smith, who had no previous convictions, of North Cornelly, was found guilty of a charge of sexual assault by penetration.
Passing sentence, Judge Stephen Hopkins QC said: “This was a serious, specified sexual offence.”
Smith, he said, had been a taxi driver in mid Glamorgan for four years.
In the early hours of December 2013, he was approached by a young woman under the influence of drink, without any money to get home.
“You offered to take her home. It was a kindly offer, but it was anything but,” said the Judge.
She fell asleep in the front passenger seat and found he had parked his taxi in a layby, where he put his hands down her trousers before driving her home.
The Judge said that she was confused and embarrassed but told a male friend and he informed the police.
Smith was arrested and he initially denied that any sexual contact took place, but DNA samples indicated there had been contact.
At the trial, said the judge, his defence was that what occurred was with the woman’s consent and instigation.
“The jury, hardly surprisingly, rejected that. It was a gross breach of trust with a taxi driver taking a very vulnerable young woman home and taking sexual advantage of her.”
He was directed on release to register as a sex offender for life.