Published: 19:00, 03 September 2014
| Updated: 19:58, 03 September 2014
A Medway cabbie accused of molesting a passenger has claimed he is too old for such behaviour.
Great grandfather David James, 72, insisted the 25-year-old woman snogged him after arriving at her home and paying her fare.
It happened twice, he said, but he denied sexually assaulting her.
Married James said a lot of “girls” he carried would give him a peck on the cheek and “sometimes on the lips” at night to thank him for getting them home.
The father-of-three daughters, of Sturdee Avenue, Gillingham, denies assault by penetration.
Maidstone Crown Court has heard the woman was left in a “sobbing heap” after he kissed her and molested her in the back of his car.
She told how she afterwards repeatedly showered and scrubbed herself because she felt so unclean.
A woman and three friends hailed James to take them home from a nightclub in November last year.
She was the last to be dropped off in the early hours and moved into the middle seat to pay her fare.
Prosecutor Charlotte Newell said as the woman went to take her change James kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth.
He let go. She dropped her purse in the footwell and then found James had joined her in the back, said Miss Newell.
“When I gave her her change she leant through and kissed me on the lips. I was a bit surprised getting a kiss from a young girl. I thought: Happy birthday.” - Defendant David James
She tried to get out but James kissed her again and put his hand down her top, it was alleged.
He then pulled up her dress, pulled down her tights and assaulted her.
James went into the witness box to give his version of events.
“When I gave her her change she leant through and kissed me on the lips,” he said.
“I was a bit surprised getting a kiss from a young girl. I thought: ‘Happy birthday.’”
James claimed he went into the back of the cab to clear out rubbish left behind.
“She gave me another little kiss and that was it,” he continued. “It was on the lips again.”
He said he then received a call on the radio to go to Hempstead Valley shopping centre.
Asked by Miss Newell if he sexually assaulted the woman, he replied: “No, definitely not. I am a bit old for that.”
Recorder Simon Taylor QC asked him: “For what?”
He answered: “Interfering with women.”
James said he had chatted with the woman and her friends during the journey but was not flirtatious.
“I thought she looked young,” he said. “I am a bit old for flirtatious.”
He agreed after hesitation that he kissed the woman back.
He said: “It was one kiss in the front and one in the back. She definitely started it. It was a 30-second kiss with tongues.”
Asked if it was passionate, he replied: “Yeah.”
Asked if he put his tongue in her mouth, he said: “Might have done.”
When pressed, he said: “Yes.”
James agreed he was in a position of great responsibility as a taxi driver.
Girls, he said, would often give him a kiss on the cheek or lips to thank him for getting them home late at night.
“I know most of them,” he said. “I have been doing it for a long time. I don’t instigate it. If it comes it comes.”
He agreed he told police the woman, who he did not know, “snogged me full on”.
He added in court: “I wasn’t expecting anything. Some times it is a peck on the cheek but this is a lips job.”
The trial continues.
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