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Ajay Chopra jailed for sexually assaulting women on Vline


June 23, 2014 – 4:03PM

Ajay Chopra. Photo- James Aldersey

Ajay Chopra. Photo- James Aldersey

A man who told one of five women he sexually assaulted on a regional train service to ‘‘have a nice life’’ must spend at least 10 months in jail.

County Court judge Gerard Mullaly, in imposing a head sentence of 21 months on Ajay Chopra, said stern punishment awaited men who put their own “perverse sexual pleasure” above the rights of women.

“The sexual assault of fellow female passengers on public transport is shameful and dishonourable,” judge Mullaly said on Monday.

“Decent men do not do this.”

Chopra, 41, separately assaulted the women, aged between 18 and 30, while on the V/Line service between Melbourne and Bendigo between June and August 2011.

Chopra, of Bendigo, either assaulted the women, or tried to, when he took their hands claiming to be a palm reader and either put a woman’s hand on his crotch, or put his hand on or near their crotch, or both.

Prosecutor Neill Hutton said one of the victims felt Chopra’s erect penis under her hand and that the offender also put his hand up the woman’s dress.

“This continued until the offender got off the train at Bendigo. He turned (to the victim) and said ‘Have a nice have a nice life’, as he did so,” Mr Hutton said.

Chopra, who was travelling to and from Melbourne to work at a Telstra store, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and two charges of attempted indecent assault.

The court heard Chopra’s offending escalated in seriousness and that he had initially denied the charges, but changed his plea to guilty to “save face” with his family.

Defence counsel Mark Hird said a psychological assessment found Chopra “doesn’t want to face up to (the offending) rather than enter a genuine plea of guilty”.

Judge Mullaly said Chopra’s “shameful and concerning behaviour” had had a profound and lasting impact on his victims, significantly because of the delay in between the offending and sentencing.

The court was told one victim had suffered a severe blow to her self-confidence and was anxious, distrustful and felt constantly disappointed with herself.

Another, the judge said, had fought “a losing battle” against depression in the years since she was assaulted and felt she had lost two-and-a-half years of her life.

Judge Mullaly said the delay between offending and sentencing had “compounded” the problems of victims and that the public was entitled to an explanation.

He said the Bendigo court complex had only one court room equipped for trials by jury, and as a result, Chopra’s case was delayed until he pleaded guilty because of a backlog of cases.

Judge Mullaly said cities of a similar size to Bendigo had addressed shortages of adequate court rooms to hear jury trials.

“Bendigo stands apart and its citizens must wait too long to have cases heard,” he said.

Judge Mullaly said Chopra’s crimes also had a “corrosive” effect on the community because they added “to the unfortunate sense of fear that women have, that public transport is not safe”.

Chopra, who was supported in court by his wife, will have his name put on the sex offenders registry for life.

 

Man posing as palm reader jailed for sexually assaulting women on V/Line trains

Updated 44 minutes ago

A Bendigo man has been jailed for 21 months for sexually assaulting young women on V-Line trains while posing as a palm reader.

Ajay Chopra, 41, pleaded guilty to five charges over a series of sex assaults on trains between Bendigo and Melbourne in 2011.

The court heard Chopra would pretend to be a palm reader before grabbing the women’s hands and assaulting them.

His youngest victim was 18 years old.

“All of this was a ruse, and what you were attempting to do was either to put their hand in your crotch area or put your hand in their crotch area,” Judge Gerard Mullaly said.

Prosecutor Neil Hutton said that once Chopra had hold of a woman’s hands he would resist any efforts by them to pull away.

In one case, he held his hand under a woman’s dress; in another, he held his victim’s hand against himself.

“She could feel the man’s erect penis on the back of her hand,” Mr Hutton said.

“This activity happened for most of the trip to Bendigo, where he got off the train.

“He turned and said, ‘have a nice life’, as he did so.”

Victims left fearful of using public transport

The court was also told his victims were traumatised by the assaults and felt fearful travelling on public transport, particularly with men.

“Your offending was repetitive, escalating and persistent,” Judge Mullaly said.

“The sexual assault of fellow female passengers is shameful, dishonourable conduct. Decent men do not act like this.”

The sexual assault of fellow female passengers is shameful, dishonourable conduct. Decent men do not act like this.

Judge Gerard Mullaly

The court heard Chopra moved from India with his wife to Bendigo in 2011 and had shown no insight into, nor remorse for, his crimes, instead focusing on saving face.

Judge Mullaly said he had chosen vulnerable young victims and the nature of his offending had wider ramifications for the community.

“The fact they were conducted on public transport adds to the unfortunate sense of fear that women have that public transport is not safe.

“This fear is corrosive and impacts on women’s rights to go about their lives freely.”

Chopra was placed on the sex offenders register for life and will be eligible for parole in 10 months.

Poor court facilities prolonged suffering of victims: judge

Judge Mullaly also said the delay in the matter being resolved in the courts had prolonged the suffering for Chopra’s victims.

He added that Bendigo residents were being denied proper justice because of a lack of court facilities.

He said the public deserved to know why crimes committed in 2011 had taken so long to pass through the courts.

The case began in Bendigo but had to be moved to Melbourne because there was no suitable courtroom.

“Court facilities in Bendigo are and have been for too long inadequate to uphold the criminal justice system,” Judge Mullaly said.

Judge Mullaly said its court facilities compared badly with other regional cities in Victoria of the same size.

“It stands apart.

“It’s citizens must wait too long to have their cases heard…we must urgently investigate all possibilities to open up another courtroom in Bendigo.

“This case must prompt a re-doubling of efforts.”

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3 thoughts on “Ajay Chopra jailed for sexually assaulting women on Vline

  1. He should be deported back to the punjab along with his supportive squeeze.Please or offend but come on women fight back he did this because he could. Its called an uppercut to the neck and groin.

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  2. The judge says Crims have to wait to long in Bendigo for their trial to go to court in badly conditions!…….” Who the hell cares, how long they have to wait”!…… Victims wait a life time of suffering at the hands of these beasts!…….. ! would ship this Crim Ajay Chopra straight off to Egypt, and let him do real hard time in that hell hole Egyptian jail, like that poor journalist, that got 7 years, locked away with those putrid, shit covered squalid filthy long drop communal shared unsanitary toilets and decrepit cells with concrete beds, an unsanitary cooking areas, shared by 4 other inmates! This filth bag in Bendigo gets only” 10 Slap on the wrist holiday Minimum months.” This Indian AJAY CHOPRA should be getting 7 years! This just shows our modern comfortable jails are now such a joke, we are so soft on crims here in AUSTRALIA!…….The whole lot of these rotten sex offending maggots should be sent of to Egypt Hellhole Tor Prison. Send Adrian Bayley and Peter Dupas Harley Hicks on the front of the line and shackle the rest of the evil turds in leg chains on to a Con-Air aircraft and parachute them in to Egypt Dessert. That would be up-holding the Criminal Justice System. This serious offence would have been so scary to the victim, trapped on a train. You would feel like throwing him of the moving train. And to think this creep , said to his victim after sexually attacking her – ” Have a nice life”. Well I would give him, Have a nice life!
    Have a nice life in that Egyptian Hellhole Jail, and never return back to AUSTRALIA!……………..

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