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Second woman tells of taxi trouble

Lauren Blakeley, 20, says women should be wary after being sexually harassed by a taxi driver.
Lauren Blakeley, 20, says women should be wary after being sexually harassed by a taxi driver.

A SECOND Toowoomba woman has come forward with a terrifying account of sexual harassment by a taxi driver.

Lauren Blakeley, 20, called The Chronicle after reading yesterday's page one story of a woman who said she was sexually harassed by a taxi driver in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Miss Blakeley said she got into a Garden City Cabs taxi on Baker St about 3am last Thursday after a night out at the Uni Club.

She said she was put into the cab by a male friend and the driver started asking her questions as soon as they were alone.

"He was asking me if that was my boyfriend," Miss Blakeley said.

"I said 'no, he is just my friend'. Then he said 'oh, well you are taking me home tonight'."

Miss Blakeley said the conversation spiralled out of her control.

"He said 'I'm going to pleasure you'.

"I said I had to go to sleep because I had work the next day.

"He said it wouldn't take long and I could go to sleep afterwards.

"He was really full on.

"He was asking who I lived with and if I knew people in the area.

"It really scared me."

Miss Blakeley said tears were streaming down her face by the time she arrived at her destination. Her phone had a flat battery, which added to her fear.

"I was terrified," she said.

"I just threw the money at him and ran inside."

Miss Blakeley said the incident had destroyed her faith in taxis.

"It's supposed to be a safe environment but it's not."

She has made a complaint to the company and has reported the incident to police.

"I wasn't going to say anything but when I saw the story I said 'no, other women have to be warned'."

Black and White Cabs general manager John Tighe, who also oversees the operation of Garden City Cabs, said the complaints were taken very seriously.

"We don't tolerate this behaviour from our drivers at all if the complaints are genuine," Mr Tighe said.

He said the company carried out about 1.5 million jobs a year in Toowoomba and complaints of this nature were very rare.

"However, if there is an issue or complaint brought forward we will investigate it until the end.

"We stake our reputation on giving a safe, secure service."

Internal investigations into the incidents are continuing.

Topics:  cab driver garden city cabs harassment


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