Australian gets jail term for attacking Indian taxi driver


Melbourne : An Australian, who viciously assaulted an Indian taxi driver because he hated Indians, was Monday sentenced to a prison term by a court here.

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The 23-year-old Indian victim was a student and part-time taxi driver. He suffered a fractured skull, nose and cheekbone in the attack early in the morning Feb 16 two years back, The Age reported Monday.

The assailant, Murat Kilinc, 22, told a psychologist that he and his family hated Indians due to their apparent lack of concern for others.

Witnesses first heard screams and cries and then spotted two people running away, prosecutor Jim Bessell told the County Court last week.

Rachael Freeland, a psychologist, had stated that Kilinc’s anger issues, alcohol abuse and hatred towards Indians may have “contributed” to the incident. But she added that while subconsciously Kilinc’s offence may have been racially inspired, it was not consciously.

Judge Joe Gullaci said that he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the victim was attacked because he was Indian. Gullaci said he was also unable to be satisfied whether the attack was pre-planned. He ordered Kilinc to serve a minimum of 18 months.

The judge said that vulnerable people going about their normal business must be allowed to work without fear of being attacked and left unconscious in deserted back streets.