A Ballarat taxi driver is fighting allegations he caused a love bite on his passenger’s breast after he drove her to her home in June last year.
Jagjit Singh fronted the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with one count of sexual assault over the June 10 incident.
Defence barrister Gordon Chisholm told a contested hearing his client admitted he hugged and kissed the complainant, which he says was consensual, but denied causing the love bite and touching her breasts.
The young complainant said Singh had picked her and a friend up from a Sebastopol address and dropped her friend off first before arriving at her Ballarat home.
She had been at a party and described herself as a little bit drunk but she knew what was going on around her.
She said Singh had stopped the vehicle when he asked her if she could give him a hug and they both exited the taxi.
“I was like, yeah, whatever … it was quite unexpected,” the complainant said.
But she said after the hug, the taxi driver went in for a kiss on her lips and touched her breasts. After pulling away, the complainant said, ‘what? You’re a taxi driver’.
She said it wasn’t until she got inside her home to change her clothes that she saw a mark, like a hickie, on her left breast.
The complainant said she was shocked and, about five to 10 minutes after the incident, messaged her friends to show them a picture of the love bite.
“I was shocked at the time,” she said.
“I wanted to see what other people thought, if they found it super weird.”
The complainant said the following morning she was upset about the incident and reported it to Ballarat Taxis and the Taxi Service Commission. They advised her to contact the police.
During cross-examination Mr Chisholm asked the complainant if she had kissed anyone at the party before catching a taxi home, to which she replied, no.
He then told her an analysis showed DNA from four different contributors was found near the neckline of the play suit she was wearing.
Mr Chisholm said the main contributor was not the accused.
CCTV footage of the taxi journey from Sebastopol to Ballarat, showing the complainant and Singh hugging, was played to the court.
The hearing, set down for one day, was adjourned to June 5 where it is expected to hear from a DNA analysis expert, the complainant’s friend and the police informant.
A police interview is also expected to be played to the court before magistrate Gregory Robinson will decide if Singh is guilty or not guilty of the charge.
Singh, who was supported during the hearing by a woman who occasionally cried, was bailed to appear at court on June 5.
*Taxi Driver Jagjit Singh, 31 fronted the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with one count of sexual assault over a June 10 incident.
Jagjit Singh, 50 of Brown Hill, who is also a part time taxi driver, is not the same man, is unrelated to the alleged offender and has not been charged with any offences.
The Courier apologises for any confusion.