Three gamblers were reported to have targeted a 95-year-old man who has been carrying a large amount of cash at the Star Casino in Sydney, then followed the man home and robbed him, taking his live savings estimated to AU$6,250.
One of the three attackers, Amandeep Singh confessed about his wrongdoings to the police officers who caught him up and accused him of the robbery and said that the three of them gave the elderly man back AU$100 “so he can eat”. Today, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal rejected Singh’s challenges to the conviction and his minimum three-year jail sentence.
The investigation showed that in July 2017 Singh, a gambling addict who was then 26, travelled to Sydney from Victoria where he was working as a taxi driver at the time to gamble AU$5,000 which his father had sent him from India to help him pay his university taxes. Singh and his two fellow offenders had generated massive losses at the Star Casino when one of them noticed the victim, an elderly man, as he got a large amount of cash out of his jacket’s inner pocket.
The agreed facts on the case state that the three offenders then followed the man on his way home. They knocked on his residence’s door and he opened the door, only to find himself pushed out of the way. One of the three offenders then covered the victim’s mouth with his hand, and another took out the money from the elderly man’s pocket. Then, the three of them got back to the Star Casino and gambled, losing all the money they had stolen.
Singh Became Problem Gambler Soon after Arriving in Australia
The District Court Judge Siobhan Herbert found that Amandeep Singh became a problem gambler not long after he arrived in Australia in 2015 on a student visa. The young man was supposed to start his Master’s degree in business at a Victoria-based private college.
He developed a serious gambling addiction instead. As the District Court Judge revealed, Singh gambled an amount of between AU$1,000 and AU$5,000 on a daily basis and used to go to the Crown Casino Melbourne even at times when he had no money. Before robbing the elderly man, Singh gambled and lost the retirement fund of his parents, which was estimated to approximately AU$50,000. He also borrowed money from his friends, put off his studies at times when being unable to pay his taxes, and even lost his home because he had no money to pay his rent.
The man, now 28, pleaded guilty to the offence of robbery in company but claimed that he did not break in but only knocked on the victim’s door. His appeal was later withdrawn, but the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal still ruled that the charge was supported by the agreed facts. When dismissing the sentence appeal of Mr Singh, the Court explained that the District Court Judge properly took into account the compulsive gambling habits of the accused, as well as his substances disorder at the time.
Apart from that, the Court found that the cash stolen from the elderly victim was a significant amount to him. The maximum term which Singh would have to serve is four years and six months.