Rapist sentenced for phoning victim from jail

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 10:53 06/09/2012

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A serial rapist who called one of his victims from prison and pretended to be her doctor has been given a further three years in jail for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Pravin Fia Hari Prasad Kumar was convicted in 2009 for the kidnapping, sexual assault and rape of a young woman with schizophrenia. He was subsequently sentenced to preventive detention.

He already had a history of violence and assaulting women.

While in prison following that conviction, Kumar was caught running a complex scheme in which he would call his mother and have her divert his calls to phone numbers not approved by the prison phone system.

The High Court at Auckland heard Kumar deceitfully obtained his victim's phone number in the care home where she lived by calling a string of people and pretending to be a doctor.

Once he got hold of the woman he got her cell phone number from her and then discussed her evidence with her.

He suggested she had been pressured to lie and in a series of calls the next day tried to get her to say the evidence she had given at court was false and that she had not been raped.

Crown prosecutor Alysha McClintock said that Kumar's offending was ''particularly insidious'' because he pretended to be a doctor who had worked with one of his victims.

He knew who the doctor was because he had given evidence at his trial.

In sentencing Kumar in the High Court at Auckland today, Justice Geoffrey Venning said Kumar's self-justification and sense of entitlement were concerning.

Kumar had said he called the woman because he was frustrated at being inadequately represented in his rape trial and he was making his own inquiries.

The judge rejected this explanation as Kumar had not shown up for his trial so his frustrations were of his own making.

Justice Venning said Kumar was ''clearly not remorseful''.

''Your actions were unplanned and on-going. Your actions further abused your victim.''

After his sentence was pronounced Kumar yelled that he was ''innocent'' of the crimes and he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

The judge ignored him and walked from the court as Kumar was dragged to the cells.

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- Auckland Now

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