Terming the rape and murder case of the Australian woman Dawn Emilie Griggs as “rarest of rare”, a city court on Monday sent the two convicts — cab driver Jyotish Prasad (28) and his friend Ashish Kumar — to gallows.
<b1>“To be hanged till death,” said Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar. His words came as a shock to the mother of the main convict, Prasad, who could not restrain herself. Throughout the hearing, Sitara Devi ,had sat with folded hands, praying for her only son.
The two were held guilty on August 2 of murder, gang rape, robbery, destruction of evidence and common intention for the incident near the Indira Gandhi International airport here in 2004.
The court justified the death sentence by drawing a parallel of the present case with that of Dhananjoy Chatterjee. The Supreme Court had awarded death sentence to Chatterjee for raping and killing Hetal Parekh, a minor girl, inside a lift in a Kolkata building. “Committing rape of an old lady shows a mind which is more depraved than Chatterjee’s,” Kumar said.
Describing foreign tourists as “the easiest prey”, the court said: “It must not be forgotten that the victim was a foreigner, who was totally dependent on the hospitality provided to her by our people. She was totally defenceless and unprotected.”
Medical evidence showing that the victim had died of throttling and gagging after being attacked with a screw driver also went against the convicts, both from Banka district of Bihar.