A former Canberra taxi driver has been "blaming everyone else" since admitting he indecently assaulted a passenger on the job, a magistrate has said.
The man, listed on the ACT courts website as Rahul ! and in police documents as Rahul (nil surname), arrived nearly two hours late for what was meant to be his sentencing on Wednesday afternoon.
He had previously pleaded guilty to committing an act of indecency without consent, but he now wants to withdraw that plea.
The Moncrieff man's belated attendance followed magistrate Robert Cook phoning him from the ACT Magistrates Court and threatening to issue a warrant for his arrest unless he turned up.
A statement of facts, once agreed by Rahul and the prosecution, shows he was driving a woman home from Civic in the early hours of a November 2020 morning.
He commented on the woman being attractive and stroked her left leg, according to the document.
The woman felt uncomfortable but "tried to remain friendly to avoid being left on the side of the road", the facts state.
Rahul admitted he tried to put his hand up the woman's dress, and she told him "no".
A short time later, the document says, he turned off the taxi's meter and grabbed the woman's wrist in an attempt to place her right hand on his genitals.
She again said "no", and Rahul conceded he had responded by touching one of her breasts.
The woman told him to focus on the road, but he admitted again fondling her inappropriately and trying to make her touch him.
When the woman resisted, he smiled and said: "But I thought we were friends."
The woman, who described feeling scared and vulnerable, managed to get into her house alone when they arrived by making up a story about her boyfriend being inside waiting for her.
The incident was captured by security cameras inside Rahul's taxi.
The 26-year-old, who now works as a removalist, turned up to court on Wednesday without legal representation.
He told Mr Cook he was only there because of the colour of his skin, and asked whether it was legal for someone to take a picture of him outside court.
When Mr Cook signalled an intention to continue dealing with the case on Thursday morning, Rahul resisted and said he wanted it finalised straight away because, among other things, he weighed 72kg. The significance of this was not obvious.
"I don't understand what you're saying, Mr Rahul," the magistrate told him at one point.
Mr Cook ultimately told Rahul to read some material relevant to the matter overnight and to return on Thursday morning, when a Legal Aid lawyer might be available to represent him.
Rahul told this reporter to "take my dick photos" as he left court.
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He did come back on Thursday, albeit nearly an hour later than he had been told to arrive.
While waiting for him, Mr Cook commented that the 26-year-old seemed to be "blaming everyone else, other than himself, for his actions that brought him before the court".
"He, I think, sees it as unimportant," the magistrate said.
"I think he has a view that, if he just ignores it, it will go away."
Eventually, after a discussion with Rahul, Legal Aid duty lawyer Solitaire Zahnleiter told the court the 26-year-old wanted to make an application to traverse his plea.
Mr Cook ordered that this application be filed by May 2 next year, listing the matter for a two-hour hearing on June 15.
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