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Court of Appeal overturns rapist acquittal

A man has been jailed for life after the Court of Appeal successfully applied to quash his acquittal.

Harbinder Khatkar will serve at least 14 years after being found guilty of attacks on women between December 2011 and February 2013. Two of the women were attacked in the weeks following his acquittal from a rape charge where he was alleged to have attacked the woman in her own home.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) asked judges to retry him and succeeded by arguing that evidence of the new attacks was so similar to that of the earlier attacks that it amounted to new and compelling evidence of his guilt. The CPS’s success was only the 13th time it has applied to quash an acquittal in the time since the “double jeopardy” laws were scrapped.

Steve Chappell, chief crown prosecutor for the CPS East Midlands, said that, though the new evidence gathered was unrelated the earlier offence he was charged with, it showed a very similar pattern of behaviour and this persuaded the Court of Appeal to allow the application.

Khatkar was found guilty of 18 offences including rape, sexual assault, assault by beating and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

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