Canberra Punjabis denied bail over alleged sexual assault


Two men who allegedly used a social media application to lure, abduct and rape a woman were trying to set up meetings with others in the city, a court has heard.

Ajitpal Singh, 31, and Randhir Singh, 20, are charged with a series of offences – including rape, abduction, acts of indecency, and unlawful confinement – over an incident in September this year.

They allegedly began chatting with her on social media app Tango, before she agreed to have sex with one of the men, arranging to meet at Kippax Fair Shopping Centre on September 26.

But the ACT Magistrates Court heard that when she arrived, she realised there was another man, and tried to leave.

The men threatened her child, her family, and said they would show her husband her messages.

The woman was then allegedly sexually assaulted, first in a car and then at a unit in Belconnen.

A third man is also understood to have been involved but has since fled the country.

The pair came back before the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday for the continuation of a bail hearing that had been adjourned earlier this month.

Prosecutor Trent Hickey opposed their release, arguing they were a risk of reoffending, of leaving the country, and of interfering with witnesses.

Mr Hickey told the court that police had conducted forensic examinations of their mobile phones, and found messages indicating they were trying to set up meetings with other women.

He said their alleged actions showed that “their moral compass is so degraded” that the court could not have any confidence they would not reoffend.

The court heard that a fourth man who was in the room had given evidence that the woman was crying during the ordeal.

The court also heard the visas of both men had been cancelled, although Ajitpal Singh was waiting to have an appeal heard, and Randhir Singh was seeking to lodge an application with the Migration Review Tribunal.

Ajitpal Singh’s lawyer asked the court to again delay hearing the bail application to wait for the outcome of his client’s visa application.

But Magistrate Peter Dingwall refused to defer the application, noting the men could seek bail again when their immigration status was established.

Mr Dingwall expressed fears that the men were a flight risk, and that they may reoffend or try to obstruct justice.

Both had their bail refused.


Source: Canberra Times