A former taxi driver sprinted from the doors of the District Court in Perth this afternoon after admitting he prevailed upon two young girls for sex when they could not pay their fare, before they stole his cab while he was buying a packet of condoms.
The man, who is known only by the name of Robin, fled from waiting media after he was granted bail pending sentencing in February.
District Court Judge Ron Birmingham warned Robin that he faced a difficult task in persuading him not to impose an immediate jail term for offences that would be regarded by the community as disgraceful.
Robin was scheduled to face the start of a trial today when he entered last-minute pleas of guilty to two counts of encouraging or inciting a child to do an indecent act.
One of the charges carries a tougher maximum jail term because it relates to a child aged under 13.
The 27-year-old picked up three girls outside McDonalds in William Street at about 3am on September 27 last year.
After inquiring how the girls intended to pay the taxi fare and being told that they did not know, he pulled over and stated he wanted sex.
The girls then decided to pretend that they would go along with Robin’s plan, but instead stole his taxi when he went to a service station to buy a packet of condoms.
The girls were later involved in a police chase and faced charges over the stolen taxi, which is when details emerged of Robin’s sexual proposition.
The charges relate to two of the girls, who were aged 12 and 15 at the time.
Judge Birmingham said the offences were “very, very serious” and parents entrusted taxi drivers to get their children home safely.
“In my view, the circumstances go to that point where it is difficult to imagine how any sentence other than a term of immediate imprisonment would be the ultimate sentencing disposition,” he said.
Defence lawyer Alix McGregor sought an adjournment to obtain pre-sentence and psychological reports, saying her client had suffered depression and was taking medication for anxiety at the time of the offences.
Ms McGregor said she was instructed to seek a suspended jail term for Robin, who has a four-year-old daughter with a serious heart condition and a step-child with autism.
Robin, who is no longer working as a taxi driver and has a job as a trolley collector at two suburban supermarkets, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 4.