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Indian taxi driver gets jail term

world Updated: Sep 05, 2007 05:59 IST
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An Indian taxi driver in Melbourne has been sentenced to a nine-year jail term for killing a drunken passenger in 2005.

Rajbinder Singh Shahi, 30, was found guilty by a Melbourne court jury of intentionally ramming Xavier Salmon, 18, with his taxi. Shahi was slapped with manslaughter charges, The Age newspaper reported.

It is alleged that Shahi deliberately drove at the teenager and a group of his friends in the Port Melbourne area after they hurled abuses and threw a beer bottle at his cab.

Last year witnesses told investigators that the teenagers who were members of a rowdy group - had also abused cricketer Shane Warne from Shahi's taxi at a traffic signal.

Justice Teague, who found Shahi's prospects for rehabilitation were high, sentenced him Monday to a maximum of nine years and six months jail, with a minimum of six years.

Indian-origin taxi drivers in Australia have also been attacked earlier.

Rajeesh Joga, a 27-year old Indian part-time taxi driver and university student, died from head and chest injuries after a man hijacked his cab and seriously assaulted him last year.

Following the incident, some 500 taxi drivers had organised a rally in Melbourne in front of the Parliament House over their safety.