Cabbie admits guilt on two sex attacks

A SCARBOROUGH cabbie has admitted sexually attacking two female passengers in his vehicle.

Michael Fletcher, of Trafalgar Square, attacked two women last year on two separate occasions, a court.

He is now awaiting sentence.

The 40-year-old assaulted his first victim on April 6 last year, before assaulting a second woman three days later.

Fletcher was due to stand trial on the two charges of sexual assault when he appeared before York Crown Court after having previously pleaded not guilty.

However he changed his plea to both offences to guilty.

Judge Kate Buckingham ordered Fletcher to be placed on the Sexual Offenders Register. She said to him: “You have pleaded guilty to two serious matters of sexual assault whilst working as a taxi driver.”

Fletcher will be sentenced on February 25, and was remanded on conditional bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. During the time of the assaults Fletcher was working in Scarborough as a private hire driver.

Following the conviction Scarborough Council has reassured the public they are still safe to use taxis.

The council’s head of Environmental Services, Andy Skelton, said yesterday: “Michael Fletcher was arrested by police on May 10 last year and his licence to drive a private hire vehicle was suspended by the council the following day with immediate effect pending the outcome of the police investigation.

“This meant Mr Fletcher was not permitted to drive a private hire vehicle or a taxi.

“The protection of the public is of paramount importance to this licensing authority and we will always take immediate action when allegations of serious misconduct come to light. The safety of the travelling public will always be our primary concern.”

North Yorkshire Police also issued a warning in light of Fletcher’s case.

A spokesman said: “It is important for women to stay safe when going out at night. Make arrangements to get home before you go out and don’t leave anyone behind, look out for your friends – especially if they’ve had too much to drink.”