Australian man pleads guilty to assault charges after attacking an Indian taxi driver.
BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 15, 2010) NETWORK TEN - An Australian man on Friday (January 15) pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful assault, one count of criminal damage and making threats to kill an Indian taxi driver near Melbourne, media reported.
Paul John Brogden was apparently under the influence of alcohol when he made the racial and threatening remarks. The driver then reportedly pulled his car into a petrol station and Brogden reportedly followed him into the store and assaulted him and another man nearby.
Roughly 12 hours after the alleged attack, a Victorian magistrate sentenced Brogden to three months in jail, local media reported.
Outside the courtroom, Brogden's friend said Brogden was not a racist person.
"He is not a racist person, he just got a few beers too many and he just ran amok one night," he said.
Members of the Indian community in Ballarat found the incident worrying.
"We feel safe in Ballarat but we are hearing new news, now we are scared," a woman said.
Community leaders also expressed concern about the attack.
"Our main concern was just placing fear in the community and that's what we are trying to prevent - it spreading into the community that one racist targeted," community leader Khuji Maharaj said.
Early this month an Indian man was stabbed to death in Melbourne and another one set-alight.
Ballarat is more than 100-kilometers west of Melbourne.