For­mer Hal­i­fax cab­bie gets four-month con­di­tional sen­tence for sex as­sault

Truro Daily News - - OBITUARIES / PROVINCE - SAlTWIRE NET­WoRk

HAl­I­FAX, N.S.

A for­mer Hal­i­fax taxi driver has been handed a four-month con­di­tional sen­tence for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a young wo­man in his cab 15 months ago.

In Hal­i­fax pro­vin­cial court Thurs­day, Judge Michael Sherar also placed 29-year-old Sa­her Ham­dan on pro­batiuon for three years fol­low­ing the con­di­tional sen­tence.

In Au­gust, Sherar found Ham­dan guilty of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a 19-year-old Hal­i­fax stu­dent by rub­bing her thigh with­out con­sent and ask­ing if he could kiss her.

“Op­er­at­ing as a taxi driver does not give you the op­por­tu­nity to (im­pose) your sex­ual de­sires,” Sherar told the of­fender.

Sherar said young women travel by taxi out of con­ve­nience but also “for a sense of pro­tec­tion.”

“This as­sault was a breach of trust,” the judge said.

The vic­tim tes­ti­fied at trial that she was picked up by a Casino cab at the Lower Deck bar on Lace­wood Drive in Hal­i­fax at about 8:30 p.m on July 15, 2016, and asked the driver to take her to a male friend’s Sher­wood Street apart­ment.

She said when they reached the des­ti­na­tion, the driver pulled the ve­hi­cle into the dimly lit park­ing lot rather than stop­ping on the street. The wo­man planned to use her credit card to pay the $12.80 fare but Ham­dan told her they would have to wait a few min­utes while his pay­ment ter­mi­nal re­con­nected.

Ham­dan asked the wo­man if she wanted a drink of his cof­fee. Af­ter she de­clined his of­fer, he held the cup to her mouth and tilted it un­til she took a drink.

Ham­dan asked the wo­man if she had a boyfriend. When she said she didn’t, he asked her why and told her she was pretty.

She said the driver then rubbed her left leg, moved it to the left, reached un­der her seat to get at a latch and slid her seat back. She said she heard a click and no­ticed her door was locked.

The wo­man texted her friend in­side the apart­ment build­ing to say the cab­bie was be­ing creepy and asked him to come help her.

She said Ham­dan then asked if he could kiss her and got “worked up” af­ter she said no.

Her friend then tapped on her win­dow, and she left the ve­hi­cle with­out pay­ing.

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