A man whom a jury found guilty of rape was sentenced last week to 13 years’ imprisonment, with three months concurrent for possession of a flick knife, a prohibited weapon.
Rohan Anthony Gidarisingh, 40, had numerous character references and no previous convictions. But Justice Malcolm Swift told him he had thrown away any mitigation when he pleaded not guilty and accused the victim of lying. “In my judgment, it was a knifepoint rape,” the judge said.
The judge also expressed the view that Gidarisingh had lured the young woman and tricked her.
The jury had heard that in 2014, Gidarisingh by chance ran into an acquaintance whose daughter was celebrating her 23rd birthday. He had not seen the young woman since she was five and he asked to treat her on her birthday.
Justice Swift said Gidarisingh took her from bar to bar until she was inebriated. He then tricked her into going to a hotel room on the pretext that there was a private party and some friends would be there.
No one else was present and it was there the offense took place. The judge said he rejected Gidarisingh’s explanation that he carried a flick knife as part of his work as a chef. He said he was satisfied that the woman had no idea Gidarisingh had a knife until he produced it, using it and his superior strength to force himself on her.
“That must have been a terrifying experience,” Justice Swift remarked. He noted that the woman ran from the room. After she called her mother, her stepfather called police and the matter was reported.
Gidarisingh’s defense, from the time he was interviewed by police to his trial, was that the woman had initiated or encouraged much of what took place and that her complaint was motivated by avarice.
That fact aggravated what she had suffered at Gidarisingh’s hands, the judge said. The defendant accused her of lying. He had blamed the victim for his predicament; he showed not one iota of concern for her, but a staggering level of arrogance, the judge continued.
A victim impact statement indicated that the rape had a life-changing psychological effect on the woman, producing feelings of worthlessness, humiliation and self-blame. Since then she has been hyper-vigilant, suffering shame and anxiety. On her birthday each year since, it has been a damaging memory.