News Crime Uber ploy used to lure women, court told

Uber ploy used to lure women, court told

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A Brisbane court has heard the accused pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and deprivation of liberty. Photo: Twitter/Queensland Police
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A man posed as an Uber driver to target five women as they tried to get home before he assaulted them, a jury has heard.

Sampath Sandaranayake Samaranayake is accused of picking up the women in Brisbane in September 2018, all of whom are unknown to each other.

He pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane District Court on Monday to 19 offences including several counts of sexual assault and deprivation of liberty.

Samaranayake approached the women in his car and offered to take them home, telling them he was an Uber driver, the court was told.

He spoke about his excess skin as a result of weight loss and not having a nice body during the journeys, crown prosecutor Sandra Cupina said.

Samaranayake allegedly grabbed several of the women’s hands and placed them on his penis, and is also accused of unwanted touching, kissing and exposing himself.

Each of the women made complaints to police, Ms Cupina said.

Samaranayake’s car was allegedly captured on CCTV after stopping at a service station so one of the woman could get cash out to pay for the trip.

He admitted to police he wasn’t an Uber driver and said he picked up two of the women, claiming one of the encounters was consensual, the court was told.

The others he denied anything sexual happening.

The trial before Judge Tony Moynihan continues.