November 18, 2005

Appeal rejected

Croydon Guardian

By Court reporter

A Hindu priest, serving a 12-year jail term after a jury convicted him of twice raping a worshipper, has had his appeal against the convictions thrown out.

Ramanathan Somanathan, 42, of Colvin Road, Thornton Heath, claimed evidence from two women of his sexual advances to them should never have been heard by the jury.

In a test case on the use of "bad character" evidence in criminal trials, his lawyers argued the judge's decision to allow the women's evidence made his convictions unsafe.

However, Lord Justice Kennedy, sitting at London's Appeal Court with Mr Justice Bell and Mrs Justice Dobbs, said Somanathan could have no complaint and dismissed his appeal last Friday.

Posted by kshaw at November 18, 2005 04:07 PM