Jurors offered counselling after rape trial verdicts

September 29, 2017 | By More

Jurors have been offered counselling after delivering five guilty verdicts in the trial of two men charged with the rape and sexual violation of a drunk teenage girl in 2013.

It was the third trial for Amritpal Singh, 25, and Parampreet Singh, 27, for the sexual offending against the 17-year-old girl who had been contacted through a social media site.

After the jury foremen read the verdicts on the fifth day of the Christchurch District Court trial, Judge David Saunders told the jury members that two previous trials had been held.

In the first trial, a mistrial was declared part way through, and in the second trial the verdicts were overturned on appeal because of a misdirection by the trial judge on the issue of intoxication, and the way in which the issue of consent was dealt with at the trial.

The jury today found Parampreet Singh guilty of two charges of raping the girl in a late night incident on the roof of the New Brighton Surf Club. It found him not guilty of a sexual violation charge involving oral sex.

Amritpal Singh was found guilty of sexual violation using his fingers, and oral sex, and also rape.

The men are friends, but are not related.

Judge Saunders remanded the men in custody for sentencing on October 19.

Both received jail sentences of more than eight years after their convictions at the second trial.

The latest trial revolved around the question of whether the men believed “on reasonable grounds” that the girl was consenting to the sexual activity. She was given vodka to drink, and at one stage the sex stopped for a time while she vomited.

Judge Saunders told the jurors there were court staff present who could arrange counselling for anyone who felt they needed it.

“Sometimes, these cases have repercussions for people,” he explained. “These cases are never easy to deal with.”

 

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