“It seems to us inconceivable that the judge's direction could have affected the outcome of this case. It cannot affect the safety of the conviction.”
Court of Appeal
(CMR) The three-judge Court of Appeal turned down an appeal on behalf of Rohan Anthony Gidarisingh (45) to have his 2017 rape conviction overturned on April 23 after his lawyer claimed the conviction was unsafe. They found that his five grounds of appeal had no merit and directions given from the judge at trial would not affect the safety of his conviction for rape.
This is the second time Gidarisingh has applied to the Court of Appeal claiming that essentially this time he had better legal representation. His first application was turned down in November 2018 and he was not successful this time either.
He was accused and convicted of taking the 23-year-old victim to a hotel room on her birthday where he raped her twice and threatened her with a knife. At his trial, he accused the victim of lying and pleaded not guilty. The young lady was the daughter of an acquaintance that he had no seen since she was five years old.
Under the guise of wanting to treat her for her birthday, he took her bar-hopping until she was “inebriated” and then told her there was a private party with some friends in a hotel room. He sexually assaulted her, threatened her with the knife and left her running from the hotel room for help where she called her parents and the police were notified.
The Applicant was convicted on April 25, 2017, for rape and possession of a knife, a prohibited weapon for an offense that took place on November 6, 2014, and sentenced to 13 years in 2017.
For his appeal, he wanted to rely upon inadequate legal representation claiming that “his previous counsel failed to take all the points he should have at the previous hearing.”
The grounds for appeal by his lawyer, Hugh Wildman, was that the trial judge misdirected the jury on the evidential value of Gidarisingh's interview; the judge failed to direct the jury on his defense that he honestly believed the victim was consenting. They also claimed the judge did not direct the jury on how the mental elements (mens rea) should be applied to the facts of this specific case. They also argued that the jury was misdirected in respect of his possessions of a knife and misquoted the evidence.
Addressing his belief that the victim was consenting the Court of Appeal said “this was a case in which there was a complete conflict of evidence.” They concluded that “there was no room for an honest belief of consent”.
They concluded that the application could not be allowed because of the demanding criteria for reopening a concluded case noting that there were no exceptional circumstances.
The court permitted the judgment to be released on May 19th where they gave their written reasons in a brief seven-page judgment.
In 2020 CMR reported that he was making female inmates uncomfortable after the prison allowed him to work there as a chef after he was considered a low-risk Category D offender.