ACT News

Canberra men jailed over 'unspeakably callous' abduction and rape of Tango user

Two men responsible for the "unspeakably callous" abduction and rape of a woman they blackmailed using a social media application have been sentenced to eight years and 12 years imprisonment.

Randhir Singh, 21, and his former boss Ajitpal Singh, 31, were found guilty by an ACT Supreme Court jury last month on charges of sexual assault, committing acts of indecency, and unlawful confinement.

The pair hatched the plan after Randhir Singh met the woman on social media application Tango. 

Messages were exchanged and a meeting with the woman was arranged at Kippax Fair in Canberra's north the next day.

When the victim tried to back out, Ajitpal Singh threatened her child and said he would show her husband the Tango messages.

The victim was driven away from the shops to a 14th-floor Belconnen flat. 


She begged to be let go, but was ignored and raped by Randhir Singh in a bedroom in the flat.

During the assault, a third man took two pictures of her with Ajitpal Singh's phone.

When she thought her nightmare was over, Randhir Singh left her in the hands of his boss, Ajitpal Singh, who then used the pictures to blackmail her. 

"Your act of leaving her crying and begging to leave was callous," Justice Rares told Randhir Singh on Monday.

Ajitpal Singh told the crying, sobbing woman he was the boss of the group, before himself raping her.

"You made her endure one and a half hours of imprisonment while you used her to satisfy your lust," Justice Rares said.

Ajitpal Singh was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight years. 

His co-offender Randhir Singh was sentenced to eight years and non-parole period of five and a half years. 

Both are expected to be deported upon their release. 

Justice Rares said the crimes "deprived her [the victim] of her liberty and her dignity ... preying on her vulnerability, fear, and blackmail of her in circumstances where she had no real chance of escape".

The Crown described the crime as a violent expression of power and control over a vulnerable woman. 

"This was a calculated and callous plot to exploit [the victim] for the purposes of sexual gratification," the prosecutor said. 

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the victim told of the devastating impact the crime had on her and her family. 

She said she feared for the safety of her children. 

In a letter also read out in court, Randhir Singh asked the court for a chance to change his life. 

"I'd like to say I need a chance to change my life," he said.

He said he had no criminal record and had never before been in prison.

"I have been bullied, bashed, also the victim of racism ... from other inmates," he wrote.

"I want to be a good man. I think I deserve a second chance."

Ajitpal Singh gave evidence that news of the crime had reached his family in India, causing embarrassment and shame.  

He said he had not spoken to his parents since and, when asked why, said, "Because we've been convicted of something that we didn't do."

Neither reacted as they were sentenced, before guards led them away in handcuffs.