Defence now seeking 2 years, not 6, for Dutch man who harassed Amanda Todd
B.C. Supreme Court justice to deliver Aydin Coban's sentence on Friday
WARNING: This article contains details of sexual extortion and may affect those who have experienced it or know someone affected by it.
A defence lawyer for a man convicted of luring and sexually exploiting British Columbia teen Amanda Todd says the six-year sentence he originally asked for should be reduced to two.
Joseph Saulnier told a sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday his client is already serving an 11-year sentence for similar offences against 33 young victims in the Netherlands, and more prison time would be "unduly harsh.''
Saulnier is now seeking a two-year term to be served after Aydin Coban's Dutch sentence is completed in August 2024. He said the Canadian sentence would be for the same course of wrongful conduct.
Justice Martha Devlin questioned Saulnier's reasoning several times, saying she is not bound by the Dutch regime and suggesting that the offences against Todd are a separate matter.
Devlin is set to deliver her sentence on Friday afternoon.
Coban was extradited to Canada to face a trial in the Todd case and is serving his Dutch sentence at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, Todd's hometown.
Crown attorney Louise Kenworthy has asked for a 12-year sentence to be served after Coban's Dutch term ends, saying he tormented Todd online for over two years and that his conduct was a dominant factor in her suicide at age 15 in 2012.
Court heard Amanda endured online stalking and abuse as Coban, who was then in his 30s, hid behind nearly two dozen aliases and threatened and blackmailed her starting in late 2009.
Amanda's parents read victim impact statements to the court during the first day of the hearing on Tuesday, describing their all-encompassing grief and struggle to understand the "lurking evil" tormenting their daughter online.
Coban was not charged in direct connection with Amanda's death, but the Crown has told his hearing his sextortion scheme was "morally repugnant,'' he refuses rehabilitation, is at a high risk to reoffend and must be separated from society for a lengthy period, to protect children.
Defence lawyers on Wednesday said Coban lived in the Netherlands and Belgium after his parents emigrated from Turkey. They said Coban's plans to reintegrate into Dutch society with his friends and family after his local prison sentence "bodes well" for rehabilitation.
WATCH | Amanda Todd's mother speaks outside court as sentencing begins for Aydin Coban:
Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.
If you or someone you know is struggling, here's where to get help:
Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 (phone) | 45645 (text between 4 p.m. and midnight ET).
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (phone), live chat counselling on the website.
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre.
This guide from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health outlines how to talk about suicide with someone you're worried about.
With files from Renee Filippone