Thief gets life for raping Spanish woman in Mumbai

Mumbai, Dec 27 : A court Friday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for raping a Spanish woman after robbing her flat in the posh Bandra suburb last year.

The accused Mohammed Badshah Ansari, had broken into the victim's third floor flat through a window and robbed and raped her at knife-point on Nov 5, 2012.

Sessions Court Principal Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi convicted Ansari for rape, trespass, criminal intimidation, destruction of evidence and unnatural offences.

Prior to the verdict, the 28-year-old accused pleaded for leniency claiming he had to look after his aged mother, wife and two children.

Challenging the plea for leniency, ace criminal lawyer and Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that the accused was mature enough while committing the heinous crime and his young age could not be the only factor for arriving at a sentence.

Moreover, Nikam said that Ansari had a very bad criminal record, was a habitual offender and had also threatened to kill the Spanish woman after raping her.

He pointed out that the victim felt so terrorized and helpless that she even refused to return to India for deposing and instead preferred to give her testimony via video-link from Germany, thereby creating a bad image for the country.

"The court has to bear in mind the interest of the society; the case does not have grounds for leniency," the judge observed while rejecting Ansari's plea for leniency.

A day after the incident, Ansari was arrested from his residence in Reay Road, south-central Mumbai, and the charge sheet was filed in January this year.

During the trial, the prosecution examined 12 witnesses but the victim's testimony was the most important aspect in the case.

Barely a week prior to this incident, Ansari had been arrested in a case of robbery at the residence of Bollywood actor Dino Morea. He had been freed on bail when he committed the latter offence.

--IANS (Posted on 27-12-2013)

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