Canada

Carol Todd worries Dutch man who harassed daughter Amanda may not serve sentence


Carol Todd is worried the Dutch man convicted of harassing and extorting her teenage daughter, Amanda, who later died by suicide, may not serve any of the 13-year sentence handed to him by a British Columbia court.


Todd says she knew at the start of the B.C. Supreme Court trial for Aydin Coban last June that his sentence would be converted once he returned to the Netherlands.


But Todd says it wasn’t until a Dutch reporter contacted her after Coban was convicted in August that she learned he may not serve the Canadian sentence because a Dutch court had already handed him a maximum term for similar crimes committed around the time he was harassing Amanda.


Coban was sentenced to nearly 11 years in2014 for crimes involving more than 30 youth, and in 2017 he was extradited to Canada to face charges in relation to Amanda, including extortion, harassment and distribution of child pornography.


An information sheet by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Justice says Dutch prisoners sent home after being sentenced abroad can either have prison terms commuted to the term they would have received in the Netherlands, or it would be continued and served out in full.


But it says a continued sentence “may never exceed the maximum sentence for the relevant crime in the Netherlands.”


‘HEARTBREAKING’


Todd says the Dutch reporter spoke with lawyers who said Dutch law also stipulates when someone is convicted and sentenced, then found guilty of the same kind of offence in the same time period, the existing punishment applies.


She says it’s “heartbreaking” to know Coban may not spend any of his Canadian sentence behind bars, but she reminds herself the trial has served a “good purpose” in Canadian law by setting a precedent for sentencing those who exploit children online.


Over the course of Coban’s nine-week trial in B.C., the court heard he used 22 aliases to harass Amanda over two years, starting when she was 12 years old.


The trial heard Coban made good on his threats to send photos of Amanda exposing her breasts to her friends, family and school administrators unless she complied with his demands to perform sexual “shows” in front of a web camera.


Amanda was 15 when she took her own life in October 2012 in her Port Coquitlam, B.C., home, weeks after posting a video using flash cards to describe being tormented by an online predator.


Delivering the sentence on Oct. 14, Justice Martha Devlin said she had heard Amanda’s voice.


“I have considered Amanda’s words as expressed through her video and through messages she sent when she was alive,” Devlin told the court.


“She could not escape the images or videos. It was a ‘never-ending story,”’ she said, quoting fom Todd’s description of her ordeal in the video.


Todd says her daughter would have turned 26 this weekend, just as Coban is set to be transported back to his country to serve the remainder of his existing sentence.


The trial heard he must be taken back within 45 days of his Canadian sentencing, which falls next week, and as of Wednesday, the Department of Justice says he had not been returned.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2022

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