HMA v Rajinder Sidhu

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 22 July 2015, Lady Wolffe sentenced Rajinder Sidhu to seven years imprisonment after the accused was convicted of rape.

On sentencing, Lady Wolffe made the following statement in court:

“Rajinder Sidhu, you have been found guilty after trial of the rape of a young woman late in the evening near Dumfries Town Centre.

While you were driving around Dumfries in the early hours one day last September, you were flagged down by a young woman trying to catch a taxi home after a night out. She was the worse for wear through drink. It would appear that you  did not disabuse her of her mistaken belief that you were a taxi. At her request, you drove her to the car park of Tesco in the Cuckoo Bridge Retail Park. After it became apparent that she was not going to meet up with her friends, as she was hoping to do, you drove her to a remote spot. You told her to get into the back of the car. In her drunken state, and not aware of your intentions, she complied. You then came into the back of the car and raped her.

It was apparent from her evidence, and the further information provided in her victim impact statement,  that she  remains deeply traumatised by your sexual attack upon her.

I have also had regard to your past record. This comprises a single conviction in 2006 for attempting to pervert the course of justice. You were admonished on that occasion. You have never served a term of imprisonment.

I have had regard to the criminal justice social work report prepared. You are noted as accepting no responsibility for the crime of rape of which you have been convicted. As a consequence of that position, you express no remorse for your actions. You continue to deny any responsibility and appear to have no understanding on the impact of your offending behaviour on the complainer or on society generally. You are assessed by the author of that report as posing a moderate risk of reconviction for sexual offending and a low risk of general re-offending.

I have taken note of your counsel’s objection to the observation in the CJSW report of the suggestion, incorrectly made, that there was a use or threat of violence by you.

Nonetheless, you have been convicted of a predatory rape of a young woman vulnerable through drink whom you took to an isolated location and raped.

I have also considered what has been said on your behalf. This was limited. Given your plea of not guilty and the position of denial that you maintain, your counsel felt constrained in what he could advance by way of mitigation. He suggested that the consequences for you were devastating. You are a working man with a partner and family, and wish to be returned to them as soon as possible. In these circumstances, you express no remorse through your counsel for the crime of which you have been convicted.

I have considered all of the foregoing and have determined that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence. This was accepted on your behalf, as indeed was the prospect of a substantial sentence.

Having regard to the nature of the crime of which you have been convicted, your past record and what has been said on your behalf, the sentence I impose is one of seven years.

The sentence I impose will take into account the period you have been in custody in respect of this matter and will be backdated to 22 September 2014. 

You are now liable to comply with the notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for an indefinite period.”