Indonesian jailed for life as UK’s most prolific rapist

An undated handout photograph released by Greater Manchester Police on January 6, 2020, shows Indonesian student Reynhard Sinaga. Reynhard Sinaga, Britain's most prolific rapist, was on January 6, 2020 jailed for life, with a minimum term of 30 years in prison, after being found to have drugged at least 48 men and filming himself sexually violating them while they were unconscious. (AFP)
Updated 06 January 2020

Indonesian jailed for life as UK’s most prolific rapist

  • Reynhard Sinaga may have attacked as many as 195 men
  • Judge described Sinaga as “an evil sexual predator”

LONDON: An Indonesian student described as Britain’s most prolific rapist was jailed for life on Monday for a catalogue of sex offenses on unsuspecting men he drugged and assaulted.
Manchester Crown Court in northwest England was told Reynhard Sinaga may have attacked as many as 195 men, luring them into his flat with the offer of a place to stay or alcohol.
Judge Suzanne Goddard described the 36-year-old from Indonesia’s Jambi province as “an evil sexual predator” who preyed on drunken young men on nights out.
He is thought to have used sedatives to render his victims unconscious before filming the attacks. Most knew nothing about the assaults. He was caught only when one victim woke up.
“One of your victims described you as a monster,” Goddard said. “The scale and enormity of your offending confirms this as an accurate description.”
She recommended he serve at least 30 years behind bars.
Sinaga was convicted of 159 offenses, including 136 rapes and eight attempted rapes, at four separate trials, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.
The first trial began in June 2018. The last ended last December. None could be reported until restrictions imposed to avoid prejudicing juries were lifted on Monday.
The CPS said Sinaga was suspected of attacking “scores” more men since he moved to Britain in 2007, calling him “the worst-known sex offender in the country’s history.”
The deputy chief crown prosecutor for northwest England, Ian Rushton, said: “Reynhard Sinaga is the most prolific rapist in British legal history.”
“His extreme sense of sexual entitlement almost defies belief and he would no doubt still be adding to his staggering tally had he not been caught.
“Sinaga’s unthreatening demeanour duped these young men — many of whom thanked him for his kindness in offering them a place to stay — into thinking this monster was a Good Samaritan.
“But once back at his flat he used victims as objects purely for his own gratification — then appears to have derived further twisted pleasure from re-watching his films in court and putting victims through the trauma of giving evidence.”
Sinaga, a slightly built, young-looking doctorate student, had claimed his mainly heterosexual victims were acting out his sexual fantasy to play dead during intercourse.
But four trial juries rejected his defense and a character testimony from a local church he had attended in Manchester.
He was arrested in 2017 after the victim who woke up managed to snatch his mobile phone and took it to police.
The CPS said detectives discovered 3.29 terabytes of graphic material of the sexual assaults equivalent to 250 DVDs or 300,000 photos. One of the assaults lasted for eight hours.


UK PM Johnson’s support plunges over Cummings scandal

Updated 3 min 9 sec ago

UK PM Johnson’s support plunges over Cummings scandal

  • Cummings, one of the architects of the 2016 Brexit campaign, drove his wife and young son on a 264-mile trip from London to Durham
  • The polls add to a sense of growing revolt over the government’s handling of Cummings, with nearly 40 Tory MPs demanding he lose his job

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw his public support suffer the sharpest fall for a Conservative leader in a decade Wednesday as he prepared to be grilled by lawmakers over his handling of the Dominic Cummings scandal.
Johnson has stuck by Cummings despite a public and political backlash over his top aide’s travels to visit family despite the government’s strict rules to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Cummings affair seems to have really cut through to the public and is taking a rapid toll on support for the government in general and the prime minister in particular,” Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London, told AFP.
“The danger is that it triggers and reinforces a long-held concern among British voters that the Conservative Party cares more about its rich friends than about ordinary folk.”

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

A YouGov poll for The Times newspaper showed the Conservative lead over the main opposition Labour party shrink by nine points in a week.
The survey put the Tories on 44 percent — down four points — and Labour on 38 percent, up five points over the past seven days.
The last Tory leader to see his lead fall by the same amount was David Cameron during the 2010 general election campaign.
A poll in the Daily Mail newspaper showed Johnson’s approval rating had plummeted from 19 percent to minus one percent in just a few days — despite leading his party to a comprehensive general election victory just six months ago.
Cummings, one of the architects of the 2016 Brexit campaign, drove his wife and young son on a 264-mile (425-kilometer) trip from London to Durham, northeast England, during the strictest phase of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown.
His wife had by then developed COVID-19 symptoms, and Cummings himself came down with the virus a few days later.
Cummings has also admitted taking a 60-mile round trip to a local beauty spot — as he explained, to test his eyesight — before driving back to London.
Although some have suggested the support and criticism of Cummings is split along pro- and anti-Brexit lines, Bale says public disquiet goes further.
“An awful lot of Leavers think the whole thing stinks — something that should worry the government, big-time.”
The polls add to a sense of growing revolt over the government’s handling of Cummings, with nearly 40 Tory MPs demanding he lose his job, while one junior minister has quit in protest.
Among those to add his criticism of Cummings overnight was former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, who came second to Johnson in last year’s Conservative leadership contest
Hunt, in a letter to a constituent, said that Cummings had broken the government’s own rules and that there were “clearly mistakes,” the Guardian reported.
However, cabinet minister Robert Jenrick, the housing, communities and local government secretary, backed Johnson’s top adviser on Wednesday.
“I think, is the time for us all to move on,” he told the BBC, adding that Cummings had not broken any government guidelines.
He added that anyone could drive across the country to seek childcare in the same way that Cummings did, but said there would be no review of fines imposed on those who have done that before now, contradicting suggestions on Tuesday from Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Britain is one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic, with more than 46,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 by mid-May, according to official statistics released Tuesday.
Johnson’s government, whose tally only includes deaths confirmed by a positive test, has counted 37,048 fatalities.