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Clifton stalker’s appeal bid rejected

 A bid by convicted petrol bomber Shumsheer Singh Ghumman to appeal against his conviction and sentence failed in the Malmesbury Regional Court on Friday.

Rejecting his application for leave to appeal, Magistrate Herman Pieters disagreed Ghumman would have “reasonable prospect of success” in an appearance in the Western Cape High Court.

Petrol bomber Shumsheer Singh Ghumman was sentenced to 9 years in jail in the Cape Town Regional Court. Ghumman petrol-bombed businessman Philip Rhind's Clifton home in an attemped to kill Rhind, the father of his ex-girlfriend Hannah Rhind. Photo: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Ghuman was last week sentenced to nine years in prison for incitement to murder, attempted murder, malicious damage and fraud.

The 33-year-old Australian accountant and former bank investment manager petrol-bombed the luxury Clifton home of businessman Philip Rhind.

Ghuman wished to punish Rhind for interfering with his relationship with Rhind's daughter, Hannah.

The daughter believed their relationship to be platonic, and ended it, turning to her father for help when Ghumman tried to make the relationship into a romantic one.

When Pieters jailed Ghumman last week, he said Ghumman had developed a deep-rooted grudge against the father.

There was no guarantee that Ghumman would not again pursue his grudge upon his release from prison, the magistrate concluded.

He said Ghumman's grudge against Rhind had been an important factor in determining the nine-year sentence.

“Your appeal against your convictions and sentence, on all four counts, has no reasonable prospect of success, but you still have the right to petition the Western Cape Judge-President for leave to appeal,” Pieters said on Friday.

“This case was about Rhind and the accused, and I considered an appropriate sentence would be between seven and 12 years. In the end, I decided on nine years.”

Pieters said the defence had raised “very few new issues” in the application, and that the court had already dealt with most of the issues raised during the judgments on both the merits and the sentence.

The judgment “on the merits” involved whether Ghumman was guilty or not guilty.

In the judgment on the merits, the court had labelled Ghumman a “total liar”, and Ghumman's denial in court that he had planned to kill Rhind, and that he had come to Cape Town to carry out his plan, “were simply not true”, Pieters said. - Sapa

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