A taxi driver cried in the dock after a jury found him not guilty of raping a passenger and sexually assaulting the woman as he drove her to Banbury.
Hakmatullah Hotak, 28, cried in the dock after a jury found him not guilty.
According to This is Oxfordshire, lawyers said he pulled his cab to the side of the road to commit the “violent assault” in the early hours of November 1, 2019.
Hotak, from Oxford, denied the charges, claiming the woman made sexual advances towards him instead.
But on Thursday 8 February, Prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson told a trial at Oxford Crown Court that his defence was “riddled with lies”.
“He saw a vulnerable young woman scantily dressed and drunk and he decided he was going to take advantage of her,” he said.
The woman had been out clubbing with friends and her boyfriend in the city on October 31, 2019, while dressed in Halloween outfits.
After drinking ten gin and lemonades, she was escorted out of a nightclub just after 1am.
She then argued with her boyfriend before roaming the streets of the city alone for two hours.
Arriving at Oxford railway station at 3am, she found no trains running and instead got in Hotak’s taxi.
“It’s not likely for her to get frisky with a taxi driver in a car 10 or 15 minutes later,” Mr Ward-Jackson said.
“She’s much more likely to be down and depressed at the end of the evening.
“It’s not a very promising starting point for a romantic encounter.”
The woman told Hotak she had no means to pay him when the car reached Kidlington, the court heard.
A short time later, Hotak allegedly pulled over in a wooded area and raped and sexually assaulted her.
Defending, Zoe Johnson KC said the woman made sexual advances towards Hotak while he was driving the cab.
There was no evidence to suggest Hotak, an Afghan refugee, was a “sexual predator out that night looking for a victim”, she said.
She added the woman was “angry with her boyfriend who she believed had let her down” and called him a "d**k" while talking to Hotak in the car.
The woman was “talkative in the car”, revealing “personal” information and choosing to sit next to Hotak in the front seat, the court heard.
Giving his closing remarks, Mr Ward-Jackson said it was for the jury to decide “who is telling the truth”.
“Stripped down, it’s quite a simple case. It’s about two people in a taxi. A young female passenger and a young male driver," he said.
“The passenger says she was raped and sexually assaulted. The driver says she made sexual advances to him.
“So, who is telling the truth, members of the jury? Someone is lying.”
After a week-long trial, Mr Hotak was found not guilty of rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault.
As the jury delivered their verdicts, Mr Hotak could be seen crying in the dock and sighing with relief.
He thanked jury members as he was released from the dock, holding his hands together and nodding his head towards them.