The West

An Indian taxi driver jailed for six years for raping a drunk female passenger has lost an appeal against his conviction.

Amrit Pal Singh was jailed in March after he was found guilty of raping the 24-year-old married woman as she headed home from a hen's night celebration in February last year.

The woman had more than two bottles of champagne and caught Singh's cab after being refused entry to a Leederville nightspot.

Singh appealed against his conviction on the grounds the trial judge failed to properly direct the jury.

His grounds of appeal included that there had been a miscarriage of justice by the judge failing to give the jury directions to ensure that if they found Singh had lied in his evidence at trial that they did not use those lies as evidence of his guilt.

The second ground of appeal claimed the judge had failed to direct the jury not to draw "any adverse inference" against Singh arising from him exercising his right to silence in a police interview.

In an unanimous decision in the Court of Appeal this morning, Singhs' appeal was dismissed.

In dismissing the first ground of appeal, Court of Appeal President Carmel McLure found that even if the direction should have been given, she was not persuaded "it is reasonably possible that the failure to give it may have affected the verdict".

Dismissing the second appeal ground, Justice Christopher Pullin found the State prosecutor had explained to the jury that Singh had exercised his right to silence and no adverse inference should be drawn.

"Three week's after the prosecutor's comment, the judge raised the issue of whether a direction should be give about the exercise of the right to silence ... the appellant heard this and did not ask for a direction in relation to the appellant," Justice Pullin said.

"There is no miscarriage of justice. There is no merit in ground two and it should be dismissed."

The West Australian

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