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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Carlisle taxi driver: I am not a male rapist, I am a family man

A Carlisle taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting a male passenger told a court yesterday: "I am not a rapist, I am a family man."

David Graham photo
David Graham

David Graham, 41, said he was so “panicked” after the man reached forward from the back seat and touched his groin that he did not think of calling for help.

The prosecution at Carlisle Crown Court says that Graham forced the 26-year-old into a sex act in the layby while driving him home in the early hours of one morning last March. But he has pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape, saying he was the victim not the attacker.

The jury has heard that when interviewed by the police after his arrest Graham said: “I am not a rapist, I am a family man.I just would not do it. It is not in my nature.”

And he continued his denials while giving evidence yesterday.

He said he was “angry” when the man started touching his groin from the back seat but couldn’t do anything about it because he was driving at about 60mph at the time.

He agreed he could have phoned the police, radioed his base for help or stopped and thrown the man out of the car, but he said he was so shocked he went along with what was demanded of him.

“You could have threatened to do – or actually done – any of those things but you didn’t – why?” asked prosecuting counsel Tim Evans.

“I could have done but I was still driving so I just carried on,” Graham replied.

Graham, of Holly Drive, Stanwix, Carlisle, said he pulled into a layby near Hayton on the A69 between Carlisle and Brampton, because the man told him that if he didn’t he would call the police.

He agreed he could have driven off when the man got out of the car to move into the front seat to assault him again, but he said he chose not to for fear of running him over in the dark.

Graham claimed that the man continued sexually assaulting him in the layby, but agreed that afterwards he had engaged in “small talk” with him as he drove him home.

The court has heard that the man called the police about half an hour after getting out of the taxi.

But Graham did not report the incident at all – either to the police or his taxi operators.

The trial continues.

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