A DEPUTY High Court judge sentenced a rapist to four years' jail yesterday, expressing regret that he had to pass such a low sentence. Taking a starting point of six years, Deputy Judge Chan urged the Court of Appeal to revise the sentencing policy for rape, saying he regretted that this was the normal range of sentence imposed for this offence. He reduced this because Chan Ming-man hadpleaded guilty. Chan also admitted robbing the same victim in February 1992 and a further count of attempted robbery of another person. He was sentenced to three years for each offence, with all the sentences to be served concurrently. The court heard that Chan, 22, was a former customs officer who left the service in 1991 after he was reprimanded for being late to work. Mr Eric Kwok, representing Chan, said he was late because he had borrowed $90,000 from friends and the bank to take to Macau to obtain the release of a friend who was being held by a loan shark. Chan then worked as a decorator to pay off his debts. His friend repaid $6,000 and then disappeared and Chan was in financial trouble. His father borrowed money from the bank to pay off some of Chan's debts and although Chan worked hard he couldn't pay off all his debts each month. Mr Kwok said Chan then turned to robbery to solve his problems. The court heard that in the early hours of February 4 last year Chan grabbed the first victim as she got out of her car in Tuen Mun and threatened her with a knife. She gave him $800 and got a further $4,900 from automatic teller machines. However, Chan returned half the money after the victim told him she was divorced and had little money. He asked to use her toilet and she reluctantly took him to her flat. While he was in the bathroom, the victim tried unsuccessfully to alert neighbours but was dragged back to the flat. He later raped her. The following day, Chan and another man declared robbery on a couple in a Tuen Mun car park, threatening them with a knife, but the victims were allowed to leave and no valuables were taken. The judge said he accepted that Chan got into debt through blind loyalty to his friend and that one reason for the robbery was to help his father, but he said robbery was not a solution to financial problems. He gave Chan credit for giving back half his spoils to the first victim but said he could not be forgiven for raping her for momentary gratification of his desire.