Home secretary, Priti Patel, has called for a review into ‘date rape drugs’, such as gammahydroxybutrate (‘GHB’),  following the sentencing of  prolific rapist, Reynhard Sinaga, in order to establish whether more stringent controls should be implemented.

Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the situation.

The Circumstances | Kangs Sexual Offences Team

  • In January 2020 it was widely reported that Reynhard Sinaga had been convicted of drugging, raping and sexually assaulting forty eighty men with the belief that the number of victims may amount to at least one hundred and ninety.
  • The reports state that Sinaga lured drunk men back to his apartment in Manchester, laced their drinks with GHB before proceeding to sexually assault and rape them. 
  • The majority of these assaults were recorded by Sinaga, leading to his discovery and Trial. 
  • Sinaga was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of thirty years to serve before he can be considered for release by the Parole Board. 

What is GHB? | Kangs Date Rape Defence Solicitors

  • GHB can be found as a liquid, capsule or powder/paste, has almost no smell, a salty/soapy taste, the effects of which are said to be similar to those of alcohol in that it induces feelings of euphoria, drowsiness, and reduces inhibition.
  • It is known that the drug is used by offenders to incapacitate their victims in order to commit offences of a sexual nature; hence the drug being nicknamed the ‘date rape’ drug.
  • GHB is currently classified as a Class C drug which means that it is illegal to possess or supply it.  The maximum penalty for possession is two years imprisonment; for supply it is 14 years.
  • If GHB was reclassified as a Class B drug, the maximum penalty for possession would be increased to five years imprisonment whilst the maximum sentence for supply would remain at fourteen years imprisonment.      

The Law | Kangs Sexual Offences Advisory Team

  • Section 61 of the Sexual Offences Act – covers the offence of intentionally administering a substance or causing a substance to be taken by another knowing that person does not consent and with the intention to stupefy to overpower that person so as to enable any person to engage in sexual activity with the person. 
  • This offence is an ‘either way offence’ which means that it can be dealt with in either the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court and carries a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment on indictment.
  • As the offence refers to a substance, the classification of the drug involved is irrelevant.  
  • Where an offence such as rape has occurred, it is unlikely that a further charge under section 61 would be added.  Rather, it would be treated as an aggravating feature thus increasing the culpability and placing the offence at a higher starting point for sentencing purposes.
  • Section 61 is used more prevalently in the Criminal Courts where the drug has been administered with the intent to commit a sexual act but the offence does not get as far as sexual activity taking place. 

How Can We Assist? | Kangs National Sexual Offences Team

The law in relation to sexual offences is very technical and when facing allegations of a sexual nature a client expects to have the utmost confidence in their solicitor.

The Team at Kangs Solicitors offers many years of experience in defending clients accused of the wide spectrum of sexual offences.

We can assist and provide representation in relation to the following:

  • voluntary interview under caution on suspicion of a sexual offence
  • interview under caution following an arrest
  • post interview advice and assistance
  • pre-charge representations to the CPS/Police
  • representation in Court proceedings (Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court)
  • choosing the right barrister/QC for the case

Who Should I Contact? | Kangs National Sexual Offences Defence Solicitors

Arrangements can be made to meet at any of our offices in Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Please feel free to contact our team through any of the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you:

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 07989 521210

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888