Two Sri Lankan Tamils sentenced in England for rape
Posted on July 8th, 2009

By Janaka Alahapperuma from London

Two Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers used to live in South England have been sentenced to eight and a half years in jail over the rape of a 21 year old British girl. Judge Graham White also recommended that both men, who come from Sri Lanka as refugees, should be deported when they are released from prison. But the final decision on whether they should be returned to Sri Lanka will be made by the Home Office.

As a result of their convictions, Tharumaseelam Thangavel (27) and Arunan Thanabalasingam (30 ) will remain on the UK sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

The 21-year-old victim who is a undergraduate university student faced both offenders in Portsmouth court as she recounted her ordeal at their hands.The student, who can’t be identified for legal reasons sat in the public gallery as the two Tamil men were jailed for eight and a half years each after her harrowing evidence was heard by the court. The jury took three hours to convict both men of rape.

The young university girl had been out drinking in Southsea when she was offered a lift home by Thangavel and Thanabalasingam. These two Tamil men drove her back to their home and told her that she could sleep in a spare room.Later they took it in turns to rape her as she begged them to leave her alone. They then drove her back to Southsea and left her by the side of the road. She immediately complained to the nearest Police and two Tamil men were arrested soon after the incident.

They claimed they had consensual sex with the woman, and stood trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

After the verdict the victim said, “It was a horrible experience and awful having to reveal everything in front of the jury. I thought I was going to be okay, but I kept breaking down in tears. I could not help it.I was determined to go through with it and make sure they would not get away with what they had done”.

The victim added, “I was so relieved when I heard they had been found guilty.I felt that everything I had done had been worth it. I’m pleased that they will be in prison for a long time, although I just wish it was forever”.

Portsmouth Police praised the young girl’s courage. Detective Sergeant Sue Murray who was in-charge of the trial said, “The victim in this case deserves huge credit for the courage she has shown throughout this ordeal. She was in the witness box for nearly three days giving evidence, which was incredibly tough for her. I think a lot of what she has done and why she has done it is to help other people and show that these matters should be reported. This is the best outcome to a very bad situation but hopefully she will get some closure from it now”.

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