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Indian jailed for raping student in Australia

Melbourne, Aug 25, 2010:

An Indian national has been jailed for 13 years for raping a university student in Australia.

Harjot Hundal Singh, 27, pleaded guilty to rape, abduction and intentionally causing injury, The Age reported Wednesday.

Singh abducted the woman from Springvale railway station in Melbourne June 18 last year and raped her in a work van, the Victorian County Court heard.

Singh was arrested about a week later when he tried to flee at Melbourne Airport with a one-way ticket to India, the report said.

Judge Marilyn Harbison said Singh told his victim to "stop shouting otherwise I will kill you with a knife".

Singh, who arrived in Australia on a spousal visa in 2008, would be at risk of reoffending if not properly treated in prison, Judge Harbison said.

In a psychological assessment, an expert said Singh had family pressures heaped upon him and his pent-up anger against his wife and mother caused him to attack his victim.

Singh's lawyer, Paul Higham, told an earlier plea hearing that Singh's jail term would onerous because he had no family links in Australia and he would be only one of two Victorian prisoners from the Punjab region.

Crown prosecutor Ray Gibson had called for a maximum term of between 12 and 14 years and a minimum of between nine and 12 years.

He said the offending could be described as "every woman's nightmare". The judge said she agreed with that description.

Singh was jailed for a minimum of nine years and the court heard it was likely he would be deported back to India upon completing his sentence.