Police are investigating after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted in a taxi in the early hours of Boxing Day.
The girl was approached by the black car as she walked along a road in Boldon, South Tyneside.
She got in the driver then allegedly drove to a nearby car park where he sexually assaulted her.
The girl’s mother has described how she managed to get away from the driver and fled across a football field into bushes, telling her what had happened when she got home.
She told the Sunderland Echo: “She watched him slowly driving along looking for her before she managed to get home and tell me about it. She couldn’t speak when she first came in, she was so upset.”
She said her daughter described the car as black with a taxi sign on the top but no taxi signs inside and no ID badge.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “It was reported that at around 12.45 am on Boxing Day a young woman got into a taxi on Cotswold Lane, Boldon.
“The male driver then drove to a nearby car park and sexually assaulted the victim by touching. The victim got out of the car and the driver left the area.
“Anyone with information is asked to report it via our website or call 101 quoting log 740 261219.”
Police said there was nothing to suggest that the car was not a legitimate taxi.