Jury out in Uber driver rape trial
THE jury in the case of an Uber driver accused of raping his passenger has retired to consider its verdict.
After a three-day trial in the Brisbane District Court, the 12-person jury retired about 3.30pm this afternoon to consider its verdict in the case of Anil Elabithungal Thomas who has been charged with five counts of sexual assault, two of rape and one of attempted rape.
The 16-year-old girl alleged she was raped by the driver at Manly West in July 2017 on a trip from the shops to a friend's home.
In her summing up, Crown Prosecutor Jessica Goldie said the driver's evidence that the encounter had been consensual was "illogical" and "completely unbelievable".
""It simply doesn't make sense," she said.
"He had a young girl in his car, she was in a vulnerable position and he couldn't help himself.
"He drove her to a dark location and he took advantage her."
During his evidence, the driver told the jury there had been a consensual encounter between the pair after the girl propositioned him and that while they didn't have sex, he touched and kissed the girl and she gave him oral sex.
The driver said he had rebuffed the teenager twice before giving in to her advances and "lost his control" because he "couldn't resist" her.
In his final address to the jury, defence barrister Chris Wilson said while the jury may think it was "morally wrong" for the married man to cheat on his wife and with a girl so young, he said they were not there to judge morality.
Mr Wilson said in a time of political debate about immigration, he hoped the jury would not let the driver's status as an Indian immigrant affect its decision.
"I am asking you to keep any prejudice out of your deliberations that you may or may not have," he said.
Mr Wilson said his client was a reliable witness.
"What he says makes logical sense in the context of what you know about life and people," he said.
"What she says makes no sense...young people do stupid things."