A TAXI driver who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman after a DNA check on a relative has been jailed for 18 months.

Patrick Cullen attacked the woman, 24, in a secluded lane near Rangers Murray Park training ground in Milngavie in February 2011.

The married 44-year old remained at large despite a media appeal. In late 2012, a relative of Cullen appeared on the national DNA database and it helped police link the father-of-two to DNA found at the scene.

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Cullen yesterday returned to the High Court in Glasgow after earlier being convicted of the indecent assault. His lawyer said Cullen maintained he was not a sex offender.

But Lord Matthews said the assault was serious, adding: "The aggravating feature was that you were a taxi driver - your job was to take the woman home."

Cullen, of Moodiesburn, North Lanarkshire, was also placed on the sex offenders register for the next 10 years.

A jury last month heard how Cullen picked up his victim in Glassford Street, Glasgow, in the early hours of February 19, 2011 after she had been at a gay bar. Cullen - who claimed his name was Gary - quizzed her on her sexuality and asked "rude questions". Cullen drove his private hire Chrysler into a quiet area in Finlay Rise in Milngavie - near to Murray Park - before halting the vehicle and indecently assaulting her.

Detective Inspector Alasdair Anderson paid tribute to the bravery of the victim through her ordeal and added: "Without doubt, her testimony in court has been vital to his conviction. Her courage and strength is to be admired. I hope that the conviction of this man will give confidence to other victims of sexual assault to come forward and report it to Police Scotland, safe in the knowledge that officers will vigorously pursue the perpetrators."