Shopkeeper raped customer after she asked to charge her phone

A shopkeeper has been jailed after he raped and beat a woman after she asked him if she could charge her phone in his store.

Swapnil Kulat, 30, has been jailed for seven years after admitting to rape, false imprisonment and assault occasioning bodily harm in the Manchester Crown Court.

He also faces being deported back to Nagpur, India following release.

The court heard Kulat went “psycho” and attacked his 40-year-old victim after she came into his shop, with another woman, after noticing her phone battery was flat.

The 30-year-old went berserk, according to the victim. He locked the shop and ordered the 40-year-old and her friend to the back of the store.

Swapnil Kulat will serve seven years' jail. Source: Manchester Police

He let the second woman go after she left a ring, but the victim was grabbed at knife point.

She was battered repeatedly with a walking stick then made to lie beside Kulat in a store room. He forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The 40-year-old was held there overnight and repeatedly threatened with murder before Kulat freed her at dawn the next morning.

The woman fled home and was found by one of her friends before being hospitalised. Doctors found her with 37 different areas of injury around face, arms and legs.

She said she was “frightened, embarrassed and ashamed” by her ordeal.

Police raided Kulat’s business, G&T shop inn, and found the walking stick spattered with the victim’s blood.

Kulat admitted beating her up and having sex with her, but claimed he only did it after noticing A$2,500 missing from the store.

Ms Alison Heyworth, prosecuting, said Kulat had been described by the complainant as a man who had “lost his mind or was psycho”.

The prosecutor said the other woman, ‘Sam’, who was with the victim fled despite her friend begging her not to leave. It’s after this Kulat began making threats towards the 40-year-old.

Manchester Crown Court. Source: Getty Images

“He took a large black handled kitchen knife and threatened her with it – jabbing the knife towards her with no control and holding it to her throat telling her repeatedly he would kill her,” Ms Heyworth.

In mitigation defence counsel Michael Brady said Kulat lost his temper because he thought money had been stolen. But Kulat “in no way” wish to blame the victim and is “beside himself with grief and shame”.

Passing Judge Timothy Smith told Kulat there was no evidence the victim stole money and condemned his actions.

Kulat was sentenced to seven years’ jail and was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.