Singapore’s highest court on Wednesday reduced the jail term of a man of Indian descent 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 Supreme Court trial in 2020 and initially sentenced to 17 years and 10 months in prison and 14 lashes with the cane.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday reduced his prison sentence to 16 years and six months, citing the need for equality with his co-defendant. His caning was unaffected, according to a report by Channel News Asia.
Parity refers to the principle that people who commit the same offenses should generally receive the same punishment, all other factors being equal.
In this case, Srihari’s lawyer Edmond Pereira asked the Court of Appeal to reduce his client’s prison sentence to 14 to 16 years to reflect his lower debt and other mitigating factors compared to the co-defendant.
The co-defendant of Srihari, the victim’s boyfriend at the time, was sentenced on appeal to 19 years and 11 months in prison and 24 strokes of the cane.
The victim’s friend should not be named to protect the victim’s identity. Srihari can be named as there is no gag order about 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, Srihari sneaked into two hotels where the couple was staying without the victim’s knowledge, and raped and sexually assaulted the woman with the help of her boyfriend.
On the second occasion, she became suspicious and took off her blindfold to see Srihari leave 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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