Singapore’s top court on Wednesday reduced the jail term of an Indian-origin man who was convicted of raping a stranger’s blindfolded girlfriend in a “threesome” planned without the woman’s knowledge in 2016. Srihari Mahendran, 26, was convicted after a High Court trial in 2020 and initially sentenced to 17 years and 10 months’ jail and 14 strokes of the cane.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday reduced his jail term to 16 years and six months, citing the need for parity with his co-accused. His caning sentence was untouched, according to a Channel News Asia report.
Parity refers to the principle that people who commit the same offences should generally receive the same penalty, all other factors being equal.
In this case, Srihari’s lawyer Edmond Pereira asked the Court of Appeal to reduce his client’s jail term to 14 to 16 years to reflect his lower culpability and other mitigating factors compared to the co-accused.
Srihari’s co-accused, the victim’s then boyfriend, was sentenced to 19 years and 11 months’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane on appeal.
The victim’s boyfriend cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim. Srihari can be named as there is no gag order on his identity and he was a stranger to the couple, according to the Channel report.
Srihari and the victim’s boyfriend had met online in 2015 on a pornographic blog. In April and August 2016, without the victim’s knowledge, Srihari snuck into two hotels where the couple were, and raped and sexually assaulted the woman with her boyfriend’s help.
She became suspicious on the second occasion and removed her blindfold to see Srihari leaving the room. Evidence was also left in a video recording of one of the sexual encounters as the men filmed it.
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