UK: life term for serial Indian-origin sex offender

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, London
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 07, 2013 19:38 IST

An Indian-origin man based in Derbyshire has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of 18 sexual offences against seven women, including six of them attacked in one night, four of them in their own homes.

Harbinder Khatkar, 37, was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Derby Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum of 14 years before he can be considered for parole.

This is considered a landmark case because Khatkar was earlier cleared of four offences last year but was tried again after being arrested earlier this year for new attacks.

He was retried following a change in 2005 to 'double jeopardy' laws that enabled retrial after an acquittal if 'new and compelling evidence' emerged. This is the first time after the change in laws that the new charges led to a retrial.

The Derbyshire police said Khatkar attacked six women in the Pear Tree and Normanton areas on one night in February, including four in their own homes.

He was arrested the following day and charged with offences, including rape, robbery, actual bodily harm, assault, sexual assault and trespass with the intent to commit a sexual offence.

He was retried for the rape of a woman in her home in Sinfin in December 2011, for which he was acquitted. The police successfully applied to the Court of Appeal to have the acquittal quashed following the February offences.

He has now been convicted for all 18 offences, including the 2011 offences, following a five-week trial.

Detective inspector Doug Naden, who led the investigation, said, "The sentence today reflects the gravity of the offences and how seriously they are taken by the courts. The victims have shown tremendous courage in giving evidence against their attacker in court and I hope they now feel justice has been done. These women can now try to move forward with their lives and put this behind them."


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