DCSIMG

Men jailed for 18 years after raping Northamptonshire teenage escort

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Two men have been sentenced to 18 years in jail between them for raping a teenager from Northamptonshire who was stranded in an unfamiliar town.

A court heard that Sandeep Kumar and Jaskaran Ghuman, both of Clarendon Avenue, Leamington, lured the teenager back to their flat where they took turns to rape her.

They claimed their sexual activity with the teenager had been with her consent.

But a jury at Warwick Crown Court rejected their versions of what happened and convicted Kumar, 28, of two charges of rape and Ghuman, 23, of one charge.

Ghuman was jailed for eight years, while Khumar, who was tried in his absence after absconding while on bail and has still not been caught, was jailed for ten years.

And Judge Alan Parker said: “It is believed he is on the Indian sub-continent, and steps will have to be taken to extradite him to the UK to begin serving his sentence.”

Outlining the case, he said that the victim - who, like all victims of sexual offences, cannot be named - “worked as an escort in circumstances where sometimes she offered sexual services for money”, but stressed “she is as entitled to the protection of the law as anyone else”.

On the evening of the rapes the young woman, who used social media to attract custom, had travelled to Leamington from her home in Northamptonshire, by taxi.

But the man who had booked her and paid for the taxi, and with whom she expected to spend the night, backed out of their arrangement and left her stranded in Leamington town centre.

With no money to get home, she was standing ‘alone and fearful’ outside the Regent Hotel at around 10.30 or 11pm when Ghuman and Kumar happened to pass her.

It was apparent she was in some distress, and Ghuman approached her and spoke to her first before being joined by Kumar, and they established how she came to be there.

The judge observed: “She was immature and she was vulnerable by reason of her lifestyle choices, and particularly vulnerable that night because of the circumstances which led to her being there alone.”

They offered to help her and suggested that they go for a drink and try to find a way to get her home, the court heard.

Judge Parker continued: “When the two defendants were walking together with the victim they communicated in their own first language, which denied her any understanding of what was being said.

“I am satisfied that they agreed between them that they would entice her to their home and that they would in turn have sexual intercourse with her, whether she agreed or not.”

When they got to Clarendon Avenue, Kumar went inside with her overnight bag, which he had been carrying for her, and she and Ghuman followed him in.

Once inside, Kumar left the room and Ghuman raped her before the two men, who the court heard worked for the same firm and were of previous good character, swapped places.

With Ghuman out of the room, Kumar raped her, although it was accepted he only penetrated her briefly, and then also raped her orally with such force that she was almost sick.

Balbir Singh, for Kumar, argued that their victim could not be described as vulnerable because ‘she had chosen to enter into employment whereby she would charge money for sex, and she attended at Leamington intending to spend the night with a stranger in return for money.’

But that was rejected by Judge Parker who said: “In my judgement she was vulnerable. The fact that she chose to eke out a living in the way she did certainly does not deny her the protection of the law.”

And jailing Kumar, the judge commented: “I am sure his deliberate absence was demonstrative of an absence of remorse.”

In a separate hearing Ghuman was sentenced via a video link with HMP Hewell, where he had been remanded in custody.

His barrister Tarlowchan Dubb said: “Custody is hitting him hard. He is remorseful to the victim and wishes me to express his remorse to the court.”

Judge Parker told Ghuman: “Your conviction followed a long trial, during the course of which I had the advantage of seeing the victim; and I had absolutely no doubt at all that she was a very vulnerable young woman.

“She was stranded in Leamington at 11 o’clock at night with no money and nowhere to go, and you, of the pair of you, were the one who was most astute and recognised her despair.

“You made her believe you would look after her and that no harm would come to her; but she was taken back to your home where you raped her.

“I am satisfied this was planned, and that you and your co-defendant acted together. You raped her first, and he raped her twice after you had done so.

“I am told you’re sorry, and not merely sorry for yourself. Genuine remorse counts for a great deal, but I have to say that your remorse in this case has come far too late.”

 
 
 

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