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Rapist wins sentence cut

A Tullamarine refugee who committed two rapes within a month has had his prison sentence reduced on appeal.
Three judges at the Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal recently heard Esmatullah Sharifi, who had driven from his house in Tullamarine to Frankston, began talking to an 18-year-old girl sitting near a nightclub in December 2008.
The court heard Mr Sharifi offered to give the girl a lift to Mornington but on the way threatened her, attempted to kiss her, told her to take her clothes off and raped her.
Almost a week later, on Christmas Day, Mr Sharifi forced another woman into his car, slapped her and raped her, before she managed to run away.
The court heard Mr Sharifi, 32, was born in Afghanistan and beaten by the Taliban.
As a child, his father was taken by soldiers and never returned.
Later on, Mr Sharifi reportedly witnessed the Taliban kill his brother and other atrocities.
In 2005, he gained a permanent protection visa in Australia, and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder.
In 2009, the County Court sentenced Mr Sharifi to nine years and six months prison, with a minimum term of seven years, after he had pleaded guilty to two rape charges and one charge of false imprisonment, relating to the Christmas Day rape.
In 2012, he was sentenced to another nine years in prison for the Frankston rape.
Four years and six months of the sentence were added onto an earlier sentence he had received.
This made Mr Sharifi’s total sentence for both crimes 14 years imprisonment with a non-parole minimum period of 11 years.
However, Mr Sharifi recently appealed his 2012 sentence on grounds including it was “manifestly excessive” and the original sentencing judge erred in deciding his prospects of rehabilitation were poor.
A psychologist’s report tendered to court said Mr Sharifi believed he had consensual sex with the 18-year-old.
The Court of Appeal judges re-sentenced Mr Sharifi to eight years on the charge of rape, creating a total sentence of 12 years and six months’ imprisonment.
His new minimum term became eight years and six months imprisonment, for both of the crimes committed in 2008


deerpark.starcommunity.com.au (11-6-2013)
Alesha Capone
http://deerpark.starcommunity.com.au/star/2013-06-11/rapist-wins-sentence-cut/


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Serial rapist's Afghan ethnicity no excuse, says judge

A Judge has today rejected an Afghan refugee's claim that he raped an intoxicated and vulnerable teenager because of cultural differences.
Esmatullah Sharifi, 30, was appearing in the County Court for the second time in less than three years on a charge of rape and Judge Mark Dean said his background as a traumatised Muslim refugee was no excuse.
The judge said a psychologist told the court Sharifi, who came to Australia in 2001 on a temporary protection visa, had "an unclear concept of what constitutes consent in sexual relationships'' in Australia.
But the judge said Sharifi's background and flight from the Taliban in Afghanistan could not excuse an extreme act of violence.
"You well knew the victim was not consenting to the act of sexual penetration you performed,'' Judge Dean said.
Sentencing Sharifi for the rape of the 18-year-old woman, Judge Dean said that he had driven from his home in Tullamarine to Frankston looking for a victim.
The woman was alone, intoxicated and sitting on the footpath near the 21st Century nightclub after she had a disagreement with her friends.
Sharifi sat down beside her, started talking to her and offered to drive her to a hotel in Mornington where her friends had gone.
Judge Dean said Sharifi drove in a different direction and the victim became concerned and texted her friends but he took her phone and found a dark street where he stopped.
As she cried and asked if he planned to kill her Sharifi put his hand around her neck and forced her to remove her clothes before raping her.
"Your offending is of the utmost seriousness,'' Judge Dean said in his County Court sentence.
"You preyed upon a young vulnerable stranger who was alone and intoxicated at night. Your brutal conduct must be denounced by this court.''
Sharifi pleaded guilty to one count of rape committed on December 19, 2008.
Judge Dean said that in 2009 Sharifi was jailed for a minimum of seven years for the abduction and rape of a woman at Frankston on Christmas Eve, 2008, five days after the rape of the teenager.
In that case he forced the 25-year-old into his car, punched her and raped her and the victim escaped by jumping from his moving car.
A DNA sample taken after his conviction led to the charge he faced in court today.
Judge Dean said that he had to sentence Sharifi by taking into account the sentence he is already serving and he set a new term of 14 years with a minimum term of 11 years.
The effect of the sentence is that he will be eligible for parole in seven years and eight months.


www.heraldsun.com.au (12-4-2012)
Norrie Ross http://www.heraldsun.com.au/archive/news/serial-rapists-afghan-ethnicity-no-excuse-says-judge/story-fnat7dhc-1226324707559




Brutal acts of violence: refugee's suburban rape cruises

An Afghan refugee would drive from his home in Tullamarine to nightclubs in Frankston late at night searching for drunk, vulnerable young woman to prey on, a court was told today.
He would pick them up in his white 1988 Honda Civic and rape them.
Esmatullah Sharifi, 30, pleaded guilty today to raping an 18-year-old woman on December 19, 2008.
He had been jailed in 2009 for a minimum of seven years for abducting and raping a 25-year-old woman at Frankston on Christmas Eve, 2008 - five days after the first rape.
Sharifi was placed on the serious sexual offenders register after his jailing and his DNA was found to match the sample taken from his first victim.
Prosecutor Fran Dalziel told the court the first victim had been out drinking Fruity Lexia wine when her girlfriend left her to go to the Bay Hotel in Mornington.
The victim was sitting on the footpath behind the 21st Century Dance Club when Sharifi approached her and offered to give her a lift to the Bay Hotel.
She accepted but became anxious and confused when they had been driving for an hour and she saw a road sign saying Sorrento.
Sharifi then pulled over into a dark side street and raped her in the front passenger seat.
"She began to scream and cry out for help," Ms Dalziel said.
"The accused put his left hand over her mouth and his right hand around her neck, restricting her breathing. He said to her, 'I'll take you home after it, I'll give you back your phone as well'.
"He said to her things including ... 'This feels so good', 'you're beautiful' and 'does this feel good?"'
Sharifi later drove the victim back to her girlfriend's home.
Five days later he drove back to Frankston and abducted a 25-year-old woman, punched her in the face and raped her. She escaped by jumping out of his moving vehicle.
Ms Dalziel said Sharifi claimed he did not have a great understanding of sexual mores in Australia but Judge Mark Dean disagreed.
"These are acts of violence," the judge said. "Serious acts of violence against women, nothing to do with sexual mores. They're brutal acts of violence."
Judge Dean said Sharifi was dangerous and the community needed to be protected from him.
He said Sharifi's chances for rehabilitation appeared poor.
Defence lawyer Mark Regan said Sharifi was born in Afghanistan and had been in Australia for seven years after arriving by boat on Christmas Island from Indonesia.
Sharifi was of Hazara extraction, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan, and had been beaten by the Taliban. He had seen his older brother shot dead when he was a teenager.
Mr Regan said Sharifi was uneducated, illiterate, inexperienced in forming relationships with women, and was confused about the nature of consent. He is in Australia on a permanent protected visa.
Judge Dean will sentence Sharifi on April 12. The maximum penalty for rape is 25 years' jail.


m.smh.com.au (28-3-2012)
Mark Russell
http://m.smh.com.au/victoria/brutal-acts-of-violence-refugees-suburban-rape-cruises-20120328-1vxyj.html


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