An Australian has been arrested for the Tuesday attack on the Indian taxi driver with his lawyer claiming that he had no memory of the incident.
Parish Charles, 45, was remanded to custody on seven charges by the Melbourne Magistrates Court over the stabbing of Jalvinder Singh, 23, who continues to be in “critical condition” and is in “induced coma”.
Charles’ lawyer Rob Melasecca told the court his client had contracted HIV 20 years ago and had recently begun taking new medication. He said the accused had no memory of the events.
Police allege that Charles stabbed Jalvinder — who is actually a student here — while they were travelling in Clifton Hill and then dumped him on the street. Melasecca said his client did not dispute the police version, but said his state of mind would be key to the case.
He said his client had no criminal history, was horrified about what had occurred and needed help otherwise there would be “two victims”.
Hundreds of taxi drivers ended a 20-hour blockade on Wednesday after the government agreed to improve safety measures.
Under the deal, drivers will be able to demand payment at the start of night trips to ease the tensions between drivers and passengers. The government will also help install safety screens in up to 4,000 taxis.
Jalvinder, who was lying injured on the roadside for over two hours, was found at 6 am local time disoriented and with hypothermia near a hotel in Clifton Hill, several hundred metres from his smashed car and was taken to hospital.
He had stab wounds in the upper body and the homicide squad has been notified, police had said on Tuesday.