News State Victoria Trio jailed after buck’s night

Trio jailed after buck’s night

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Three men, including a groom-to-be on his buck’s weekend, have been jailed for indecently assaulting a young woman on her 18th birthday.

Desandren Pillay, 27, of New South Wales and friends Fereti Dansey, 27, and Walter Toganivalu, 26, acted in “moments of madness” when celebrating Pillay’s buck’s night St Kilda in Melbourne in 2010.

The Herald Sun reported County Court judge Michael Tinney said the men were loaded on alcohol and feeling a sense of freedom.

Prosecutors alleged the woman had had consensual sex with the men’s friend at a St Kilda Road hotel, before the trio held her down and sexually assaulted her.

However earlier this month a jury acquitted each man of two counts of rape, instead finding the buck indecently assaulted the woman and the trio acted as part of a criminal enterprise.

An earlier jury did not reach a verdict on the rape charges after three-and-a-half days of deliberations.

Judge Tinney said he could sentence only in accordance with the jury verdict.

He said the actions were “far from foolish behaviour” and had a very serious impact on the woman.

“This was disgraceful and serious conduct committed on a young woman, who has the misfortune to meet up with you on her 18th birthday,” the judge said.

Each man was sentenced to imprisonment for 15 months, with 10 months suspended for two years.

The judge said the defendants’ past good character traits, delay since offending and more onerous custodial circumstances of being held in a different state to family and friends, as well as threats from fellow inmates, were mitigating factors in the sentencing.