Derby

Derby rapist Harbinder Khatkar jailed for life

Harbinder Khatkar
Image caption Harbinder Khatkar was convicted of one rape of which he had previously been cleared

A rapist who was found guilty of attacking six women in one night has been jailed for life.

A jury had previously acquitted Harbinder Khatkar of raping a woman in 2011.

Six weeks after the trial he attacked three women in the street in Derby then invaded the homes of three other women, all on 1 February.

The 37-year-old was tried again and convicted of the 2011 attack under double jeopardy laws.

It was the third time he had been tried over this attack, as jurors were unable to reach verdicts following the first trial.

One of Khatkar's victims on 1 February was repeatedly raped in her home over several hours, and Khatkar also threatened to kill her children.

Judge John Burgess said Khatkar, who refused to attend sentencing at Derby Crown Court, was "a highly manipulative man who appears to have no feeling for others".

"The damage he has done to these women is appalling, not least to the one woman who had to give evidence three times [since 2011], including at two earlier trials," he said.

"In the course of his trial he behaved in a way that demonstrated contempt for the court, the prosecutor, and anyone else that got in his way.

"If he can behave like that in court with everyone watching him, what must he be like with a vulnerable woman alone in her own home?"

'Very real danger'

Khatkar, of Sinfin in Derby, was found guilty of 18 offences, including five rapes, on Wednesday.

He will serve a minimum term of 14 years before he can be considered for parole.

Judge Burgess said: "Never have I been more convinced that there is no other alternative to life in prison.

"There is a very real danger to women that if he is at liberty he will do this again.

"This is an exceptional case, not least because he invaded the homes of four women and attacked them."

Khatkar's crimes included rape, robbery, causing actual bodily harm, assault, sexual assault and trespass with the intent to commit a sexual offence.

One victim told Khatkar's trial that her life had been "completely devastated" by what he had done to her in her own home.

The Crown Prosecution Service successfully overturned the verdict at the Court of Appeal so he could be tried again for the 2011 rape.

His was the first retrial in Derbyshire under the amended double jeopardy law, which came into effect in 2005.

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