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Indian hunted, bashed and robbed, Australian court told

india Updated: Jul 15, 2010 09:34 IST

A 23-year-old Indian student was hunted before being robbed, bashed and left unconscious at a telephone booth in Melbourne by a group of three youngsters, an Australian court has heard.

Aleksander Trifunovic drove his friends- Shayne Comensoli and Lennon Metaxas- around Melbourne's west, looking for an Indian to rob in October last year, the Victorian County Court was told Wednesday.

Comensoli and Metaxas, both aged 20, who had been drinking at a hotel, spotted Lucky Singh in a phone booth in Sunshine about 1.30 a.m. Oct 15, 2009. They got out of the car and attacked him, prosecutor Amelia Macknay said.

Macknay said that the pair believed a person of Indian ethnicity was most likely to carry cash, AAP reported.

Metaxas punched Singh in the face so hard that he fell on the ground. Comensoli held him while Metaxas punched him repeatedly as Singh screamed in pain and fear.

"Shut up, you Indian motherf-----," Comensoli repeatedly said, and then said, "Now it's my turn," before swapping places with Metaxas and delivering more blows.

After being hit up to 20 times in the head and face, Singh curled up on the ground covering his head with his arms. Singh was left bleeding and unconscious on the footpath, suffering bone fractures, severe swelling and bruising.

The attackers stole $80 in cash from Singh's wallet and split it between them, then called for Trifunovic, 20, to collect them.

Singh, who had been living in Victoria for eight months, said in his statement that the attack had shattered his confidence and he suffered flashbacks.

"I'm too scared to walk at night," he said. "My life has completely changed. I feel scared to go outside."

However, defence lawyer Ron Tait denied there was a racial aspect to Trifunovic's crimes.

Metaxas has already been sentenced in March to three years in a youth justice centre after he pleaded guilty.