Rape-accused taxi driver says sex was consensual

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 20/08/2014

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]A taxi driver accused of raping a passenger after dropping her home from a night on the town says he was invited in and the intercourse was consensual.

Day two of the taxi driver trial opened in the Hamilton District Court yesterday and defence counsel Russell Boot put it to the victim that she invited the alleged offender, Keyse Awil Abdi, into her Hamilton home. She denied doing so.

Abdi has pleaded not guilty, through a Somalian interpreter, to one charge of rape, two of unlawful sexual connection and a further charge of burglary.

Boot, in his cross examination, first focused on how many alcoholic drinks the woman had consumed over the course of the evening of June 13, 2013, before stepping into Abdi's taxi.

It was a busy Thursday night in central Hamilton. The woman had a glass of wine with a friend at one bar then moved to another where she had a few more and decided she would not be driving home.

From there the pair went to a free strip club, on her male friend's request. There she had a shot and at least one more drink before moving to the last bar.

By the time the pair got into Abdi's taxi the woman said she wasn't sober yet nor was she intoxicated.

Boot suggested the woman invited Abdi into her home after dropping off the friend, that he did not push her over in the doorway and that they kissed on the couch before having consensual sex on the floor.

The woman told the court the allegation was false.

She said she would never invite someone she'd just met into her house let alone the taxi driver.

Nor would she have sex on the lounge floor when there were two beds inside.

During the woman's police interview, the woman said Abdi stood up after intercourse and threw money at her, saying: "I can come by any time I want". But Boot questioned her memory of the phrase.

The woman admitted they may not have been the exact words but disagreed with Boot's suggestion that it could have been "if I need you any time should I come and see you?".

Police photos from the scene show $5 and $10 notes on the woman's lounge floor and Boot questioned whether a $100 bill had been involved. The woman denied the allegation.

Boot suggested the woman engaged willingly in sex with Abdi but later regretted it.

Boot also suggested that explained the time delay between the incident, about 2.30am, and her report to police about 1.10pm later that day.

The woman denied Boot's assertions.

"I regret taking a taxi in the first place and I regret having a drink," the woman said. "But I did not go to the police because I regretted what happened."

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Crown prosecutor Jamie O'Sullivan asked the woman what she thought of Boot's suggestion.

"The reason why I didn't get the police in the first place was because I was scared and not in the right frame of mind."

A friend suggested she make a police complaint, she said.

"In the heat of the moment I just wanted to hide from the world."

Boot suggested the woman did not scream during intercourse because it was consensual. The woman denied that.

"When I get scared and nervous I get quiet."

The professional women earns a high wage and said there was no need to exchange sex for money.

Detective Constable Lee Samphier, who also testified yesterday, said the lock on Abdi's taxi-mounted digital video recorder was faulty. Usually the key was held at head office meaning the driver could not access it. On examination, the 32GB SD card was damaged.

"It appeared to have been scratched or damaged by some sharp item," Samphier said.

- Waikato Times

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