‘Palm reader’ pleads guilty to assaulting women

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An Indian-origin man last week pleaded guilty to assaulting young women on trains pretending to be palm reader.

Ajay Chopra, 41, of Bendigo in Victoria, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent behaviour and two charges of attempted assault in the Victorian county court Thursday, the Melbourne Age reported.

Chopra allegedly terrorised women aged between 20 and 30, between February and August 2011 as they travelled on V/Line trains from Bendigo to Melbourne.

The court heard that he approached the women offering to read their palms.

Chopra will undergo psychological assessment before his hearing resumes.

He applied to the court to suppress his identity because he said he was embarrassed about his identity being published.

Judge Gerard Mullaly, however, said there was not a “skerrick” of a reason to suppress proceedings so long as Chopra’s victims were not identified.

Chopra’s bail was extended on condition that he surrendered his passport, did not leave Australia and reported to police twice a week.

He is also banned from catching any train between Bendigo and Melbourne.

The hearing of the case will be resumed June 23.

Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Newspaper in Melbourne)

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