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Cabbie cleared of sexual assault after his accuser admitted lying during conflicting statements

A cab driver from Paisley who was accused of a sex attack on a female passenger has been cleared after it was proved that the woman had lied to the police.

Norbert Tumwesigye was accused of sexual assault by a woman he had picked up following a festive night out with her family, a report in the Scottish Sun said. The 27-year-old woman claimed that Mr Tumwesigye grabbed her face and kissed her on the mouth and put his tongue in her mouth without consent. During police questioning, the woman said the incident took place in a car park in Thornly Park Gardens, Paisley on January 2. Speaking in court, the alleged victim said that she felt “slightly uncomfortable” the moment she entered the taxi because it was night time and dark and because she was alone. Her police statement said that she chatted to Mr Tumwesigye when she got in the cab, casting doubt on what she said in court about feeling uncomfortable straight away. The woman had also told the police that she had given the driver her full name and that she had drunk at least four glasses of wine before she had entered the vehicle, yet giving evidence in court she said she had only drunk one glass of wine. When challenged about her different evidence statements, the woman admitted giving two different versions but called it “an honest mistake”. The mother of the woman gave evidence in court, saying that she received a phone call from her daughter who was distraught and “crying down the phone.” The court heard that she rushed to her daughter’s aid when she was told that she had been sexually assaulted. Giving evidence in his own defence, Mr Tumwesigye said he helped his accuser into his cab and also out of the vehicle because she was struggling to walk. He told the court that she tried to kiss him as he helped her out but he pulled away because he’s a married man. Tumwesigye said: “She didn’t want to leave the car, she was chatting, chatting. I wanted to get her out the car” This is when she allegedly tried to kiss him. Tumwesigye, 37, had always denied the claims and was found not guilty by Sheriff Frances McCartney at Paisley Sheriff Court. McCartney said that she didn’t believe his accuser. A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council, where Mr Tumwesigye held his licence, said he could now apply to get his licence back.

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