Britain's most prolific rapist could die behind bars after Government lawyers moved to appeal against his 30-year jail term as too lenient.
Reynhard Sinaga, 36, an Indonesian student, was jailed for life earlier this month with a minimum term of 30 years before parole after drugging 48 men and filming himself sexually violating them in his Manchester city centre apartment.
But after lawyers for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) wrote to the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox on Thursday, he referred the case to the Court of Appeal for senior judges to look at whether Sinaga’s sentence should be increased.
He could then be re-sentenced to a rare, whole-life term and would never be released.
The Attorney General said: "After carefully considering the details of this case, I have decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal.
"Sinaga carried out an egregious number of attacks over a prolonged period of time, causing substantial pain and psychological suffering to his victims.
"It is now for the court to decide whether to increase the sentence."
Sinaga, 36, a "perpetual student" studying for a PhD in Manchester thanks to his rich family, picked up drunk and vulnerable men by posing as a “good Samaritan” and offering help, Manchester Crown Court heard during his trial.
Passing sentence, Judge Suzanne Goddard QC said a whole-life order had never been made before in a case other than one involving murder, but despite the "vast scale" of offending making Sinaga’s a borderline case, she would "shrink back" from passing a whole-life term.
However, she added: "In my judgment, you are a highly dangerous, cunning and deceitful individual who will never be safe to be released, but that is a matter for the Parole Board."
Richard Littler QC, defending Sinaga, submitted that the legal authorities did not support the passing of a whole-life sentence in the defendant's case.
He said the Court of Appeal has never imposed a whole-life order for a discretionary life sentence and, to date, whole-life terms had not been passed in non-homicide cases.
Mr Littler said: "This could be accurately described as an evil crime but in fact it cannot accurately be described as a violent crime."
Police established during their investigations that 195 different males appear to have been unconscious while Sinaga assaulted them, but 70 of them remained unidentified.
After reporting restrictions were lifted and Sinaga was publicly identified following the conclusion of his fourth trial for sex crimes, Greater Manchester Police set up a dedicated incident room and said it had seen a "very positive response" with multiple calls made.
It is thought Sinaga laced his victims’ drinks with a drug such as GHB, also known as liquid ecstasy.
The rapist was caught when one of the men regained consciousness and fought him off before he went to the police and, crucially, handed in Sinaga’s phone.
He was found guilty of a total of 159 offences committed between January 2015 and May 2017 - 136 counts of rape, 13 counts of sexual assault, eight counts of attempted rape and two counts of assault by penetration.
For anyone who wishes to seek support but does not want to talk to police, St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre can be reached on 0161 276 6515 and Survivors Manchester can be contacted on 0161 236 2182.
The National Male Survivors Helpline can be contacted on 0808 800 5005.