February 2014

Cut in jail term for man who forced an eight-year-old boy to have sex with him

joga

A family man jailed for sex crimes committed more than 30 years ago after his victim covertly recorded his confession, has had his jail term cut by more than a third on appeal.

Joga Singh, a “much respected” pillar of the community in Leicester, was jailed for nine-and-a-half years at Leicester Crown Court in June last year, after admitting two serious sex offences.

His crimes dated back to the late 1970s, London’s Appeal Court heard, when he lured his schoolboy victim into an attic and subjected him to sex attacks. Singh’s victim kept silent about his ordeal for decades, said Judge Brian Barker QC, but decided to confront Singh after suffering repeated “flashbacks and mood swings”.

He set up a meeting with Singh, 53, during which Singh’s confessions about the sex offences were caught on a hidden recording device.

The victim, now in his 40s, initially asked for a letter of apology and a £10,000 donation to a children’s charity, but went to police when this did not materialise.

Singh, of Simpson Close, Syston, challenged his sentence with claims that it was too harsh given the lapse of so many years since the crimes.

Judge Barker, sitting with Lord Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Globe, noted Singh had built up his own business and was of “exemplary overall character” before his historic offences came to light. At the Crown Court, his lawyers presented more than 100 glowing references testifying to his contributions to the community.

The judge had faced an “extremely difficult sentencing exercise”, said Judge Barker, having to balance the gravity of the offences against the extreme delay in the case coming to court and Singh’s blameless behaviour in between.

Singh’s crimes were committed when he was still a teenager, said the appeal judge, who said: “He has spent the past three decades in an exemplary way contributing massively to the community.”

Although he had committed “atrocious acts” there were “exceptional circumstances” justifying a hefty sentence cut, said the judge. “The right sentence is six years,” Judge Barker concluded.

August 2013

‘Shame on him’ – victim sees man jailed for sexual abuse

A businessman who forced an eight-year-old boy to have sex with him more than 30 years ago has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

Joga Singh (53) committed the offences in 1977, when he was aged 17.

He initially denied any wrongdoing but midway through a trial changed his pleas to admit two serious sex offences with the child.

The victim, now 44, had to relive his ordeal in the witness box and was accused of telling lies by the defence barrister before Singh accepted his wrongdoing.

His guilty pleas were entered after a tape-recorded conversation of him confessing to the victim was verified by experts as Singh’s voice.

Speaking after the sentencing at Leicester Crown Court yesterday, the victim said:

“It was never about the sentence, that’s up to the judge.

“All I wanted was the truth and a public admission of guilt.

“Justice has been done – it’s been a long wait.

“I no longer have to live a lie, pretending it never happened.

“Shame on him for not being man enough to accept responsibility earlier.

“If it wasn’t for my wife and big brother, who stood by me, I couldn’t have survived.”

Also speaking after the case, the victim’s older brother said: “Whatever the sentence, there are no winners.”

The victim said outside court that he had suffered “recurring nightmare flashbacks” for many years but had kept it a secret until he could no longer cope. He confided in his wife in 2010.

He then gained courage to confront Singh, after advice from a social worker, and recorded a discussion with Singh confessing.

Singh apologised and said the same abuse happened to him as a child in India, before he came to the UK.

Anwar Nashashibi, prosecuting, said the victim initially asked for a letter of apology and a £10,000 donation to the Children In Need charity.

When Singh refused, he went to the police.

Singh, of Simpson Close, Syston, accepted when the boy visited his former home in the Belgrave area, he had sex with him on “two or three occasions”, in June 1977.

The court heard he took the child upstairs to a box room, where the boy was abused and then threatened with a beating if he told anyone.

Mary Prior, mitigating, said Singh, a successful businessmen, had led a commendable and blameless life since.

She said Singh’s own childhood abuse was an explanation, not an excuse.

Mrs Prior said: “You’re sentencing a 53-year-old married father for something which occurred 35 years ago.

“He has glowing references from many, some of whom sit alongside the defendant’s family supporting Singh, knowing what he acknowledges, but feeling he’s worthy of their support.

“References speak of his kindness, generosity, help and tireless charity work.

“He’s a well-respected member of the community.”

Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert said: “What happened to him that summer troubled him for the next 30 or so years.

“You originally denied these offences and subjected your victim to a lengthy period of torment awaiting a trial.

“In the witness box he was cross-examined and called a liar, accused of extortion and accused of fabricating the tape recording.”