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Indian origin man jailed for raping woman in New Zealand

Wellington, Sep 17 (IANS): A court in New Zealand Wednesday sentenced an Indian-origin man to six years and nine months in jail for raping a woman in her sleep, media reported.

The accused, identified as Tajinder Paul Singh, 29, who was in New Zealand on a temporary visitor visa at the time, raped the woman after a party in Christchurch, The Press online reported.

The report did not mention the exact date the incident took place.

"This was a sexual attack on a sleeping and vulnerable complainant," Christchurch district court judge Raoul Neave said while imposing the sentence on Tajinder Paul Singh.

Singh had pleaded guilty shortly before his scheduled trial to charges of rape and improper use of a passport. Defence counsel Mark Callaghan said Singh deeply regretted his actions.

During the party, the victim went to bed in a room upstairs and woke a short time later to find Singh having sex with her. She asked him who he was and asked him to get off. He apologised and stopped.

About a day later, Singh travelled to India on a passport he had borrowed.

There had been a family crisis and he had not been able to find his own passport. He returned to New Zealand after a few days.

"There had been significant effects on the woman as a result of Singh's offending (behaviour) and there were other factors contributing to her situation,” said the judge.

"You have made a bad situation so much worse," judge added.

The pre-sentence report showed alcohol use was a problem for Singh, and he was seen as having a moderate risk of reoffending because of this.