VAN driver Jhangir Akbar denied allegations of sexual assault when he appeared before Burnley Crown Court.
The jury of five men and seven women was told the woman made the complaint after she was offered a lift when the taxi she had booked failed to turn up.
The court heard the woman recognised Akbar, of Railway Street, Nelson, as the brother of an ex-boyfriend of someone she knew and that he had called out her name from the white “Practical Solutions” van he was driving. He ignored the directions she gave him to her home and instead pulled up in Lomeshaye Way and started to sexually assault her.
Akbar got off her and stopped when a car pulled up alongside, and he then reversed and drove to the woman’s street.
The jury was told the car was an unmarked police car.
While waiting for the taxi, the woman had phoned her former partner and asked him to call at her house. He rang the police when she told him what had happened and shortly afterwards Akbar was seen in the van.
He denied the allegation immediately, saying the woman had asked for a cuddle and that she had made advances to him but he had put a stop to it because he was a family man with children.