An Adelaide taxi driver has been jailed for at least 22 months after he ran down and seriously injured a drunk man who climbed onto the roof of his car.
Raghava Rao Tulluri, 40, was in a northern suburbs shopping centre car park when two people approached his taxi in the early hours of New Year's Day 2018.
CCTV footage captured a man climbing onto the roof of the car, in an incident described by District Court judge Joanne Tracey as "utterly terrifying" for Tulluri.
"Undoubtedly you were in fear," she said while sentencing him this week.
In response, Tulluri reversed his car, circled twice before heading towards the car park exit.
The shirtless, drunk man had jumped out of the way, but, at the exit of the car park, Tulluri reversed before driving into the man at speed then leaving the scene.
"He was dragged for several metres before falling to the ground," Judge Tracey said of the injured man.
The victim lost consciousness briefly and suffered bruising, swelling, lacerations to his torso and legs, and a shoulder tear.
Judge Tracey said the man's actions in mounting the taxi were "disgraceful" and he was charged with property damage.
But she said Tulluri's decision to reverse back into the car park could not be explained by shock and fear.
"You were in the safety of your vehicle, no longer under any threat, and clearly had the option to leave," she said.
"Instead, you decided to exact retribution."
Judge Tracey jailed Tulluri for four years and four months, with a non-parole period of 22 months.
Tulluri, who pleaded guilty to causing harm with intent and failing to stop after an accident, will also be disqualified from driving for 15 months after his release.
Australian Associated Press