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Convicted rapist has 'unreasonable and unjust' sentence reduced on appeal

The ringleader in the abduction and rape of a woman blackmailed using a social networking application has had his sentence cut on appeal.

The ACT Court of Appeal resentenced Ajitpal Singh​, 32, to 8½ years' jail, with a non-parole period of five years.

He will be eligible for release in October 2018.

Singh last year appealed against his 12-year jail sentence, with a non-parole period of eight years, on the grounds it had been manifestly excessive, and did not properly reflect a number of legal principles.

In 2014, Singh, and his employee, Randhir Singh, 22, were sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court on charges of sexual assault, committing acts of indecency, and unlawful confinement.

Randhir Singh met the victim on social networking app Tango and exchanged explicit messages before arranging to meet for sex. 


Ajitpal Singh then threatened her child and said he would show her husband the Tango messages after she tried to back out.

She was then taken to a Belconnen apartment, and was sexually assaulted in the car and then raped in a bedroom by Randhir Singh.

Ajitpal Singh then entered the room, made further threats, repeatedly raped her and confined her to the room for 90 minutes.

Randhir Singh was sentenced to eight years and a non-parole period of 5½ years for his part in the crimes.

In handing down sentence, Justice Steven Rares said Ajitpal Singh was the "ringleader" of the "callous" and "sexually violent" offences.

Defence lawyer Ken Archer, during the appeal hearing, argued the evidence did not support findings that the pair had planned the rape, or that his client was the ringleader. 

Late last month, Chief Justice Helen Murrell, Justice John Burns and Justice Anthony North allowed Ajitpal Singh's appeal and order his sentence be reduced on the ground of manifest excess.

The judges found a number of the sentences imposed had been "unreasonable and plainly unjust".   

"The totality of the sentence imposed on the appellant should reflect a somewhat greater culpability on the appellant," the judges wrote in a decision published on Tuesday.

"However, the differential applied by the primary judge between the two offenders over-emphasised to an unreasonable degree the culpability of the appellant compared with the culpability of Randhir Singh."

The judges, in setting the new sentence, said it now reflected Ajitpal Singh had no significant prior criminal record, no history of imprisonment, and reasonable prospects of rehabilitation.