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Why is it that this seems to be a common occurence with Indian taxi drivers

Two Perth taxi drivers are standing trial in the Perth District Court today, accused of raping a 24-year-old woman who had passed out in a cab after hen’s day celebrations in February last year.

Prabhjit Singh Gill, 37, of Thornlie, and his co-accused Amrit Pal Singh, 32, of Joondanna, deny the charges.

State prosecutor Janelle Scutt told the jury this morning that Mr Singh, who was the woman’s taxi driver, used a mobile telephone to contact his friend, Mr Gill, who joined him at a dark car park on Progress Drive in North Lake at about 10.30pm on February 5.

Ms Scutt said the woman, whose identity is suppressed for legal reasons, had only a vague memory of her driver’s friend trying to have sex with her in the back seat of the taxi, then trying to have oral sex with her very briefly.

Ms Scutt said the woman was “happily married” and had been excited to go to a friend’s hen’s party, at which she consumed close to two bottles of champagne.

The court was told that later in the evening, the woman took a stretch limousine with her friends to King’s Park, where she grew increasingly drunk and was doing “silly things” such as rolling down hills and interrupting family picnics.

The group then went to Leederville’s Hip-E Club where they lined up for about 30 minutes. By this stage the woman was slurring, staggering, swaying and had glassy eyes and bouncers refused her entry, Ms Scutt said.

She then took a taxi but did not remember much of the ride except holding her head in her lap while seated in the front seat of the cab.

The woman later recalled being slumped in the back seat of the taxi while her driver spoke to an older and stockier Indian man outside and that man then tried to force himself upon her, Ms Scutt said.

The woman only remembered these details after she woke up fully clothed in her bed the next day, the court was told.

Medical testing later revealed the woman had sex with her driver, although she had no memory of this.

Mr Singh will admit to having sex with her but will claim that it was consensual, a claim Ms Scutt described as “fanciful”.

Mr Singh’s defence lawyer Steven Shadgett told the court that the woman was not as drunk as the prosecution claimed, and she was purposefully “minimizing her recollection” about how she initiated sexual contact with her taxi driver.

He said that she had begun touching him on the drive home while he was on a conference call with his friend, Mr Gill, and had directed him to the “prominent” car park, which was near Adventure World.

He said his client had not preyed on a vulnerable young lady but had the mistaken belief that she wanted sex.

Mr Gill’s defence lawyer Terry Dobson said his client did not sexually penetrate the woman at all but had been sitting in his taxi nearby while he heard his friend have sexual relations with the woman, who appeared to be “enjoying the activities”.

The trial continues.

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