Sentence summary: Rape
A Melbourne Uber driver was jailed for raping a woman he followed as she was walking home from a work Christmas party.
Manpreet Singh, 28, pleaded guilty to one charge of rape and was jailed for five years and six months with a non-parole period of three years and four months.
The Court heard the offender, who was living on a bridging Visa at the time, was fraudulently using a friend’s Uber account when he saw the intoxicated victim walking in the rain after attending a party.
CCTV from the area showed the victim refusing the advances of the offender initially before being followed and eventually getting into his car.
The offender then drove about 20km to his home where he raped the victim in his bedroom.
The victim managed to escape the offender at 5am, after regaining consciousness, and ran to find help.
The victim told the Court in her victim impact statement the offending was “the most traumatic event in my life”.
She said it led to the break-up of her relationship of six years and forced her to leave her job.
“I don’t feel safe in the world like I used to,” she said.
“The trauma has affected my memory and ability to focus.“
The presiding judge described the offending as “opportunistic” and left the victim with nightmares.
When considering the length of the sentence, the judge acknowledged the fact the Indian national would be deported and not allowed to return to Australia and the fact he had been clinically diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety.
The offender’s mother was also ill at the time and had caused the offender deep anxiety.
However, the seriousness of the offending meant a custodial sentence was needed.
The sentencing principals of deterrence and denunciation were priorities in the sentence, the Court heard.
“Deterring others and denouncing this crime are important considerations in framing my sentence,” the judge said.
“Others must see my sentence as a strong reason not to offend in a like manner. My sentence is a public denunciation of your offending.”