Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Sex attack taxi man avoids jail

Perth Sheriff Court
The court heard that the woman had to pay the full fare after being attacked

A taxi driver who sexually assaulted a woman passenger in Perthshire has been given three years probation and placed on the sex offenders register.

James Hendry, 58, from Crieff, attacked the 22-year-old woman as he drove her between Crieff and Monzie on 15 March.

He then made her hand over the full fare for the trip.

At Perth Sheriff Court, Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Hendry that the decision not to send him to prison had been "a close call."

The court heard how the cabbie kept one hand on the wheel and used the other to repeatedly grope his passenger.

After she got out the car, she burst into tears in front of a friend and they called the police.

She was able to identify Hendry because he sometimes came into her work.

She told police that she had been attacked by the taxi driver she knew as Cowboy Joe.

Cowboy Joe was Hendry's nickname because he always wore a Stetson hat.

Hendry, from Maxtone Crescent, Crieff, admitted sexually assaulting the woman.

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