A TAXI driver kidnapped and sexually assaulted a female passenger in an hour-long ride of terror, a court heard.

Mohammed Saddique told his 23-year-old passenger he thought she was “up for anything”, a Teesside Crown Court jury was told yesterday.

Saddique, 29, picked her up in Middlesbrough after a night out at about 2.30am on September 19 last year.

But then he took unexpected turns and instead of taking the woman home to Billingham, drove towards Seaton Carew, it is alleged.

“She did not want to be in the car with him, but him driving away left her little choice,” said prosecutor Tina Dempster.

“She was in the taxi against her will for around an hour.”

The woman told the jury: “I asked him where he was going. He asked me didn’t I have time to go for a drive. I started to feel really uneasy.

I said no.”

She said she called a friend and dropped hints to him hoping he would look for her.

“I was trying to get as much information to him without panicking the driver.

“I didn’t know where I was going. It was pitch black. I was really scared of what he was going to do.

“I thought if I rang the police and struggled I could anger him. There was nowhere I could run to.”

She sent her friend a text saying: “The taxi man won’t let me out of the taxi. I dunno where he’s taking me. I just know it’s the Seaton road. Will you help me please?”

She said she secretly made more calls to him and left the line open as she asked the driver about her destination.

The Crown say Saddique reached over to the woman three times while driving, put his hand down her top and touched her breast and leg.

“I started panicking even more. I just had visions in my head if he was going to touch me, he could try and do anything,” said the woman.

“I looked at him. He was looking at me just as bold as brass as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

“I considered just throwing myself out of the car.

“I was scared that he was going to rape me.”

She said Saddique asked if she had any condoms as he drove to Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, Newton Bewley then back to the Billingham area.

He eventually dropped her off at Wolviston Services at about 4am, when the woman said she collapsed, hysterical, crying and breathless.

Her friend and the police arrived quickly and Saddique was arrested.

Saddique, of Crescent Road, Middlesbrough, denies kidnapping and three counts of sexual assault.

He told police the woman asked to be taken to Seaton Carew and denied that anything sexual happened.

Proceeding

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