Vipul Romik Sharma
NZ Herald story 4th March 2006
Hastings man Sukhwinder Singh is in custody awaiting sentencing on charges of rape, abduction for sex and threatening to kill a woman he met in an Auckland bar. Singh, 32, admitted the charges in the Hastings District Court on Thursday before Judge Tony Adeane, who remanded him until April 11 for sen-tencing. A police summary said Singh and an associate met the 20-year-old woman at the bar on February 16 and they left at 3.45am to smoke cigarettes in Singh's car. They drove out of the city and when the woman became concerned about how Singh's associate was driving, he stopped on the waterfront near the Tamaki Yacht Club. She got out and walked back towards the city, but Singh's associate followed her and forced her into the car.
Singh got into the back seat with her and threatened her with a wheelbrace, saying he and his associate would kill her and all they wanted was to have sex with her. After driving to another street, he held the woman down while his associate removed her trousers and underwear. They were disturbed by another car, and drove to Seaside Park, where Singh raped the woman. His associate is also alleged to have raped her. Later, they drove to Manurewa, during which time Singh remained in the back of the car with his arm around the woman's neck, before being dropped off. His associate drove towards Auckland along the Southern Motorway, but on the way the woman asked him to stop because of his intoxication and manner of driving. He pulled to the side of the road, got into the passenger seat, and told her to drive. He later fell asleep, and the woman drove directly to the Auckland Central police station.
NZ Herald story 5th November 2008
An Auckland man whose rape victim drove him to the police station while he slept has been found guilty of the crime by a district court jury. Vipul Romik Sharma, 22, was found guilty of abduction and two counts of sexual violation by rape yesterday after a four-day trial in the Auckland District Court. He was acquitted of one charge of threatening to kill. Sharma met the woman at a central city bar and, with another man, drove her first to Mission Bay and then to a South Auckland park where he raped her in the back seat of his car. After the attack he allowed her to drive and fell asleep in the passenger seat - so she drove him to Auckland Central police station where she raised the alarm. Detective Simon Welsh, of Auckland City police, said, "I almost couldn't believe it when the call first came in. It's a unique case. "She showed a lot of bravery and common sense. I have nothing but respect for what she has endured."
The woman, who has name suppression, had been through "a lengthy ordeal" since the attack, on February 17, 2006. "I'm happy that the jury made a commonsense decision," Mr Welsh said. Sharma was remanded in custody for sentencing in January. He claimed the woman asked him to have sex with her so they both would be safe from the second man, Sukhvinder Singh, who Sharma claimed was threatening to kill him if he didn't have sex with her. Singh pleaded guilty to abduction and rape charges shortly after his arrest, and is serving a jail term in Wanganui Prison. Sharma's defence was that he acted under duress, which would have meant he was protected from criminal responsibility. But the jury took just under 3 1/2 hours to reject those claims yesterday. Sharma was remanded in custody for sentencing in January.
Date of Birth
Abduction and two counts of sexual violation by rape of an Auckland woman in February 2006
Sentenced to 9 years 6 months in January 2009
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