NRIs gets 9-1/2 and 7-1/2 years in jail of rapping and kidnapping
Auckland, Jan 21, 2009
NRI Vipul Romik Sharma, 22, was sentenced 9-1/2 years in jail by
Judge Phil Gittos. Earlier, Sukhvinder Singh, pleaded guilty and
is serving 7-1/2 years.
In February 2006, Vipul Romik Sharma and Sukhvinder Singh met 20
years old girl at Auckland bar. They abducted and raped her. After
rape, Sharma dropped Sukhvinder at his home and drove the girl back
to the city. She convinced Sharma to drive, he fell asleep and she
went to the police station where Sharma tried to say he was a victim
and had been robbed.
Prosecutor Peter Dean said: Sharma at near the police station,
- Please don't take me to the police, I'll go to jail.
- "I'm so sorry, I'll go to jail."
- Sharma got out of the car and sat on the ground.
- According to the police, the woman, crying and upset, outside
the station, looking for an officer.
Sharma did not agree with Prosecutor and denied saying those things.
He said he wanted her to drive because if he had carried on, they
might have had an accident. She parked the vehicle in front of the
police station and I was out from there
Sharma told the court:
- On the way, she became upset near the Tamaki Yacht Club and
said she wanted to get out.
- He stopped the car and she started to run away, but was brought
back by Singh, who had armed himself with a wheel brace from the
boot of the car.
- He didn't like what was happening but was scared of Singh, who
told him in Hindi, "Shut up or I'll bash you ... Let me do
what I want to do."
- Singh allegedly told him he would kill him and the girl if Sharma
didn't do as he was told. "I was afraid. I had to do what
I was told."
- He drove to a secluded spot in Otahuhu where he was told to
hand over the keys and his cell phone and get out of the vehicle.
- He saw Singh having sex with the girl but said he was too afraid
to go for help in case she was killed and he was blamed for it.
- Singh got out and I climbed into the back seat with the woman.
- He had consensual sex with her and she asked him to do it.
- The woman told him she had been raped and that he must have
sex with her too because that's what Singh wanted - and if they
didn't listen to him he would kill them both.
- Singh stood outside the car threatening him with the wheel brace
while they had sex
- He took into account Sharma's age, lack of previous convictions
and the fact he would have no family support in prison as his
family were due to return to Fiji shortly.
- The fact the woman was taken against her will was an aggravating
- He rejected Sharma's claims that he played a lesser role and
acted under duress from Singh, saying "whether he was the
leader and you were the follower really doesn't make any difference".
- The victim was not only devastated by the attack but left with
an infection as a result of what happened. "It was an added
shameful and disagreeable consequence of this offending."
- Sharma was also sentenced to a further three months for dangerous
driving and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The victim was not in court but she said:
- She was "very satisfied" with the sentence.
- I'm glad that he is where he is because that means it's a bit
safer out there.
- I'm very pleased with that sentence.
- She had now moved on with her life.
- "I've just got back on with life and started new things-
a new job and a new partner.
- It's been OK, it's just one of those things that I hope doesn't
happen to anyone else."
The Crown alleges it was Sharma who pulled the woman's pants off
while Singh was pinning her down before they both had turns raping
In November, Vipul Romik Sharma, was found guilty of rape and kidnapping
at a trial. A jury rejected Sharma's story that Singh had threatened
to kill him if he didn't have sex with the victim.
Yesterday, Sharma, who was supported in court by his wife, showed
little emotion as he was sentenced.