Reggae singer Desire Sibanda, aka Dizzy Dee, jailed for rape

AN EMERGING reggae artist has been jailed for six years for raping a sleeping woman. Desire Sibanda, aka Dizzy Dee, must spend at least 3 1/2 years behind bars for the drunken attack in 2008. His victim was a mate's girlfriend who was asleep in a bedroom when Sibanda began raping her. The Zimbabwean national, who arrived in Australia on a student visa a year before the rape, released his first single in Australia last year. The County Court jury rejected Sibanda's claim that the sex was consensual, and he told police no intercourse took place at all. But DNA evidence proved otherwise. A group of friends had been out drinking and nightclubbing before going to a house to continue partying while Sibanda acted as DJ.

After the victim's boyfriend had left, others in the house heard Sibanda say he was "going to have sex".

The victim had gone to sleep some time earlier, fully clothed and in the same room where another young woman was already sleeping.

The distressed victim had woken during the rape and told others in the house what had happened.

Judge Gerard Mullaly said the woman, a student, was letting her hair down just before the stress of her exams and thought she was safe among friends.

The rape had crushed her spirit, affecting her studies and crippling her social life, he said.

Sibanda, 24, who has a young daughter, was from a well-off family but his father didn't support his choice of career as a musician in Zimbabwe.

The singer and DJ has played at music festivals across Australia and been featured among radio station Triple J's Unearthed Talent.

Judge Mullaly said his crime would cost him not only his freedom but a raft of lost musical opportunities.

But his prospects for rehabilitation were excellent and he had never been in trouble before, the judge said.

Judge Mullaly said he would not take into account whether Sibanda would be deported when his sentence was over.
Mungwadzi Godwin

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