Carol Todd fears the Dutchman convicted of harassment and extortion of his teenage daughter, Amanda, who later died by suicide, may not serve the 13-year sentence handed down to her by a British Columbia court last month last.
Ms Todd said she knew from the start of Aydin Coban’s trial in the British Columbia Supreme Court last June that any sentence would be converted once she returned to the Netherlands.
“I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I thought if he was sentenced to ten years, he might serve five,” she said in an interview Thursday.
It was not until a Dutch journalist contacted her after Coban’s August sentencing that Ms Todd said she learned it was possible he would not serve the Canadian sentence because a court in her country of origin had already imposed a maximum sentence on him for similar crimes committed during the period when he harassed his daughter.
Coban was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison in 2014 for crimes involving more than 30 youths, before being extradited to Canada in 2017 to face charges related to Amanda, including extortion, harassment and distribution of child pornography.
A fact sheet from the Dutch Ministry of Justice explains that Dutch prisoners who are sent home after being found guilty and sentenced abroad can either have their prison sentence commuted to the length they would have received for their crime in the Netherlands, or see the sentence served in full.
However, a sentence “can never exceed the maximum sentence for the relevant crime in the Netherlands,” the document states.
Ms Todd reported that the Dutch journalist spoke to lawyers who indicated that Dutch law also states that where a person is found guilty and sentenced and then found guilty of the same type of offense within the same period , the existing penalty applies.
Ms Todd contacted Crown prosecutors in British Columbia after the Dutch journalist’s article about Coban’s potential sentence conversion was published.
They checked that it was the law, she found.
It’s “heartbreaking” to know that Coban may not be spending his Canadian sentence behind bars, she said.
Instead, she was “hoping for a little karma,” she said with a chuckle.
Ms Todd recalled that the trial served a “good purpose” in Canadian law by setting a precedent for the sentencing of those who exploit children online.
“I have to keep that in mind, because if I don’t, I’ll be frustrated and kind of angry,” she said.
During the nine-week trial in British Columbia, the court heard that Coban used 22 aliases to harass Amanda for two years, starting when she was 12.
The lawsuit revealed how Coban followed through on his threats to send photos of Amanda exposing her breasts to family, friends and school administrators unless she complied with his demands to turn herself in to sexual “shows” in front of a web camera.
Amanda was 15 when she took her own life in October 2012 at her home in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, weeks after posting a video using cardboard to describe how she had been tormented by a cyberpredator.
Sentencing on October 14, Judge Martha Devlin said she heard Amanda’s voice.
“I have considered Amanda’s words as expressed in her video and in the messages she sent while she was alive,” Judge Devlin told the court.
“She couldn’t escape the pictures or the videos. It was a ‘never-ending story,’” she said, citing Amanda Todd’s description of her ordeal in the video.
Carol Todd recalled her daughter would have turned 26 this weekend, when Coban is expected to be flown back to his country to serve the rest of his Dutch sentence.
He must be repatriated within 45 days of his conviction in Canada, a deadline which falls next week, we learned during the trial. The Justice Department said Thursday that Coban had not yet been fired.
Ms Todd asked prosecutors to inform her of Coban’s return to his home country. She did not know when the hearing to convert her sentence might take place, but she hopes to attend virtually.
Ms Todd attended Coban’s Dutch trial, where it was said Amanda’s case was not considered part of those proceedings, but a separate case to be heard in Canada.