A Sri Lankan national who sexually assaulted a Christchurch woman while she slept will be deported as soon as he becomes eligible for parole.
K De Silva, was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment on a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection by the Christchurch District Court on Friday.
The 30-year-old was already in custody for fraud offences committed after the sexual violation incident. His latest sentence will be added to the nine months he is already serving in jail.
De Silva, who has been living in New Zealand since 2014, went out drinking with friends on the evening of November 10, 2018. The group returned to a flat about 11.30pm and the drinking continued into the early hours.
The victim said after her boyfriend passed out on the couch, she kept drinking with De Silva and another man. She was heavily intoxicated when she later went to her boyfriend’s room and fell asleep on his bed.
She woke up some time later and became aware that someone was performing oral sex on her. She started kissing the man thinking it was her boyfriend, but then realised it was not him.
When she got up and turned on the light, she saw the person in bed with her was De Silva.
During the trial, De Silva claimed the sexual encounter had been consensual and her level of intoxication was the only reason she could not remember giving her consent. This version of events was rejected by the majority of the jury.
Judge Tom Gilbert said the incident had a significant impact on the victim, and she was still suffering from the trauma of it 21 months later. She had to take a lot of time off work, and her sleep, mental health and relationships with other people were also affected.
Judge Gilbert said the victim was in a very vulnerable position when De Silva sexually assaulted her. He not only breached her trust, but also the trust of her boyfriend, who he had been friends with at the time.
In October last year De Silva pleaded guilty to 17 charges of using forged documents, and one charge of theft. The offending happened in June and July in Christchurch, Kaiapoi, Rangiora, and Ashburton, and involved several instances during which De Silva purchased goods with forged banknotes.
De Silva claimed he had been under pressure from gang members or associates to commit the offences, but the sentencing judge was not convinced of his claims.
De Silva has already been served with a deportation notice and will be deported as soon as he becomes eligible for parole and a flight to Sri Lanka is available. (stuff.co.nz)