A minicab driver has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting a pregnant woman passenger.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the woman, in her 30s, was left shocked and shaken after she was allegedly molested on a taxi journey from Haworth to the Keighley area.

Qamar Zaman, 33, is accused of stroking her stomach, groping her and grabbing her hand.

Zaman, of Florist Street, Stockbridge, Keighley, denies sexual assault on February 5 this year.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp told the court yesterday the woman had been out in Haworth that evening with a woman friend.

Because she was pregnant, she had not drunk any alcohol.

At 10.30pm, she called Bronte Cabs, a firm she had used for eight years, to book a fare home.

She did not recognise the defendant as a regular driver but got into the front passenger seat of his Toyota Avensis.

Mr Sharp said she chatted with Zaman and when she mentioned she was pregnant, he stroked her stomach.

He then touched her indecently, put his hand to her face and said: “Oh, you are so beautiful.”

The woman got out of the cab before she reached home because she did not want Zaman to know where she lived, the jury heard.

He then grabbed her hand, pulled her towards him and tried to kiss her wrist, it is alleged.

Mr Sharp said the woman was shocked and shaken.

She rang her partner and her friend and then the police.

In his defence Zaman told the jury the woman became angry when he did not go through a red light at temporary traffic lights that were not working.

He claimed she racially abused him and handed him only half his fare.

Asked if he touched the woman at all, Zaman replied: “No, absolutely not.”

He said he continued with his work that night but was told by his base that the police wanted to speak to him.

The jury was expected to retire today to consider its verdict.

The trial continues.