A WOMAN has told a court how she was left terrified after being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a taxi driver during an hour-long ordeal.

The 23-year-old claims Mohammed Saddique took a deliberate wrong-turn as he drove her home in the early hours and ended up miles away.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court today heard allegations that on three occasions during the trip Mr Saddique touched his petrified passenger's breast.

The woman, from Billingham, had been for a night out with a friend in Middlesbrough on September 18 last year, and got Mr Saddique's taxi back.

The court heard that the 29-year-old driver had also taken the pals out, and is alleged to have said to his victim: "I've heard you're up for anything."

On their return to Billingham, the woman's friend was dropped off first and Mr Saddique had a short distance to drive for the next stop.

It is alleged that he went the opposite way and headed towards Seaton Carew and Hartlepool, where he groped his front-seat passenger.

Mr Saddique claimed in a police interview that no sexual contact took place, and it was the woman who asked to be driven to the coast.

Giving evidence today, she told the jury she feared she was going to be raped.

She revealed how she sent a text message to a friend begging for help, and made a secret and silent mobile phone call to alert him to her plight.

The alleged victim held her phone face-down and left the line open after dialling the number, and kept asking Mr Saddique where they were to give her friend a running commentary on their movements.

The text message said: "The taxi man won't let me out of the taxi. I dunno where he is taking me. I just know it's the Seaton road. Will you help me, please?"

After he set out in search in his car, and his mother called the police, he found the "very distressed" victim at the Wolviston service station near the A19.

Tina Dempster, prosecuting, said the woman had been dropped there by the Billingham-based Binks Taxis driver, who was arrested nearby.

Mr Saddique, of Crescent Road, Middlesbrough, denies kidnap and three charges of sexual touching, and the trial continues today.