At last Australia seems to be responding to international concerns over increasing attacks on Indians. A 48-year-old man was jailed for three months just hours after he racially abused and threatened to kill an Indian taxi driver.
Paul Brogden, 48, of Navigators near Ballarat in the state of Victoria, pleaded guilty to charges of making threats to kill, unlawful assault and criminal damage.
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson sentenced him to three months' jail for each charge, to be served concurrently.
The man was also ordered to pay more than $1,500 compensation to the victim.
The court was told Brogden and his brother got in the taxi in Mair St at 2am and asked the 24-year-old driver to take them to Navigators.
Brogden, who was drunk and had taken valium, became abusive towards the driver after asking him to take a shorter route.
He told him he would kill him when he dropped them off, then racially abused him.
The court was told the taxi driver stopped at a service station in Sebastapol out of fear and went inside.
Brogden followed and continued to abuse him. He then got into a fight with a man at a petrol bowser before smashing the taxi windscreen and damaging a GPS device.
The taxi driver was not badly hurt in the attack, but the accused felt contrite.
Defence lawyer Philip Lynch said Brogden was appalled at his own behaviour and has instructed him to seek a prison sentence.
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson was happy to oblige." The courts and the community will not tolerate violence to people performing jobs in the community, vulnerable jobs," Ms Hodgson said as she jailed Brogden.
For some reason most racist attacks on Indians are reported from the state of Victoria only.
Ballarat Taxi Co-operative chairman Stephen Armstrong says he is grateful the driver was not badly hurt but says he is disappointed by the attack.
"It's just sad that a guy's out there going about his business, providing a service for the patrons of Ballarat, and has to suffer that kind of verbal abuse and physical abuse just going about the course of his duties," he said.
Earlier today, Ballarat Indian Association president Khushi Maharaj said media reports of other attacks may be fuelling copycats.
"It may have been because of the media blow-out in Melbourne and other cities that this sort of thing is creeping into Ballarat also," he said.