Indian-origin man refused leave to appeal conviction

An Indian-origin man in Australia, who was jailed for 18 years for sexually abusing disabled women, has been refused leave to apply for more time to appeal against his conviction.

Vinod Johnny Kumar was last year jailed for 18 years with a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Victoria County Court judge Felicity Hampel said in November last year that Kumar, 31, had shamelessly preyed on the women, who were all in wheelchair, had cerebral palsy and needed round-the-clock care.

“This is offending of the greatest order. It was a gross breach of trust,” Hampel said.

“You were employed as a carer for these people whose vulnerability was increased because of the physical and intellectual disabilities they suffered,” she said.

“They were powerless to defend themselves or to physically remonstrate with you,” Hampel added.

Kumar, who arrived in Australia from India on a student visa in 2007, had pleaded guilty to eight counts of rape, two counts of sexual penetration and one count of committing an indecent act relating to a person with a cognitive impairment, the report said.

But he wanted to change his plea in July last year, an application that was later refused.

Kumar’s lawyers filed an application for leave for more time to appeal his conviction, but this was also refused by the registrar of the Court of Appeal.

After that decision, the lawyers filed a notice to renew that application.

Earlier this week, three judges of the court refused the application.

Justices Geoffrey Nettle, Robert Redlich and Peter Almond said in their judgment they supported the conclusions of a colleague who earlier found there was no basis for the County Court to have granted Kumar leave to change his plea, the report said.