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Australia jails Indian diplomat's son for paedophilia

An Australian court Thursday sentenced 34-year-old paedophile Navin Edwin, son of an Indian diplomat, to over 10 years in jail for a series of sexual offences. He faces deportation at the end of his prison term.
Edwin was sentenced by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Supreme Court judge John Burns for 10 years and eight months, backdated to take into account time spent in custody, with a non-parole period of six-and-a-half years.
Burns handed down the jail term to Edwin for a series of offences against three young girls between 2009 and 2010. He will be eligible for parole in March 2017. He is expected to appeal the decision, The Canberra Times reported.
Two ACT Supreme Court juries, in separate trials in May and June, rejected Edwin’s claims of innocence and found him guilty of 17 offences, including producing and possessing child pornography, acts of indecency and child grooming.
His criminal activities were discovered after adults swapped a series of text messages with the man via an 11-year-old victim’s mobile phone. They notified the police, who raided Edwin’s home and discovered home-made child pornography. Edwin unsuccessfully attempted to explain his crimes at the two trials, claiming the pornography was part of medical research and an art project.
Justice Burns said Edwin, the son of an Indian diplomat whose identity was not disclosed, had lied shamelessly under oath and continued the pattern of dishonesty since. The judge said the defendant had shown no remorse.
“I doubt very much that you have any understanding of the concepts of morality or conscience. These offences suggest as much,” Burns said.
The judge said Edwin presented a high risk of re-offending and had grave doubts about his rehabilitation. The court has previously heard the Indian national would likely be deported upon release, a course of action the judge supported.
Like many offenders, Edwin hid in plain sight. He ran a business, had a long-term girlfriend, was active in the church, and performed in amateur theatre productions.
But Burns said that this identity was a smokescreen to disguise his sexual attraction to young girls

www.financialexpress.com (27-9-2013)

'Shameless' paedophile faces deportation after prison

A Canberra judge has slammed a paedophile's lack of remorse before sentencing him a decade behind bars and recommending he be deported back to India as soon as he is released.
In the ACT Supreme Court, Justice John Burns described Navin Edwin, 34, as a man who camouflaged himself in the community by hiding behind his church and pretending to be a caring and nice man.
In reality though, Edwin was grooming and sexually abusing three young girls aged between six and 15 years.
Two trials earlier this year found him guilty of 17 charges including producing child pornography and acts of indecency.
Edwin denies the charges and continues to put forward excuses, including that the photos were for medical research and that it was all part of an artistic project.
Justice Burns condemned Edwin's excuses, calling him a shameless liar with no remorse. Justice Burns sentenced Edwin to 10 years and eight months jail.
He will be eligible for parole in 2017 at which time Justice Burns recommends Edwin be immediately deported back to his birth country of India.

www.abc.net.au (27-9-2013)

Paedophile 'destroyed family', court told

A victim of a paedophile who used her to produce pornography has told a court of the paranoia, anxiety and mistrust she still suffers after being betrayed by someone she thought of as her “dearest friend”.
Navin Edwin, 33, is being sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court for a series of offences against a number of girls over an extended period of time.
Those charges include producing and possessing child pornography, acts of indecency, and child grooming.
Edwin, who is the son of an Indian diplomat, faced two trials in June, and proclaimed his innocence in both.
But both juries dismissed his explanations for the acts, and found him guilty.
He now faces a “significant term of imprisonment”.
One of Edwin's victims took to the witness box on Tuesday morning to describe the impact of the crimes on her young life.
The teenage girl spoke while Edwin was sitting in the room, just metres away.
She told the court of her shock and surprise when police first informed her she had been the victim of a child groomer.
She spoke of her hesitation when, as a 15-year-old girl, Edwin first asked her to send explicit pictures of herself, but said he responded positively when he saw the images, telling her she should be proud of her beauty.
The victim said she blamed herself for months, and now has major difficulties trusting anyone, particularly men.
She told the court she was anxious and paranoid about her relationships because she felt as though she had got it “oh so wrong” with Edwin.
Her mother also gave evidence in the sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
She told the court of how “that man” had completely destroyed her family.
She spoke of her constant fear for her daughter's safety, even when she was in her own room.
The court heard how the girl could no longer go to school camps, had problems with male teachers at her school, and hated being away from her mother.
The woman spoke of being struck by fear as she approached her daughter's bedroom each night, feeling her heart beat quicken.
The mother spoke of beating herself up about what Edwin had done to her daughter, and said not a day went by that she did not think about it.
“I do not know the extent of the innocence she has lost,” the mother said.
“She has to carry this with her for the rest of her life."
She spoke of Edwin's deceit and his abuse of the family's vulnerable position.
“He sucked everyone around him into his sick little world,” she said.
Edwin has already spent two years and 10 months in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
The court heard he would be deported when he had served whatever sentence Justice John Burns imposes next month.
His defence barrister, Markus Hassall, said Edwin had undertaken employment, activities and programs in the jail, and told the court Edwin's poetry and artwork had won prizes.
Mr Hassall said his client had had an “unusual and privileged” upbringing as the son of an Indian diplomat, but said he frequently traveled internationally as a child and lacked “continuity”.
He said it was strange for someone of Edwin's background to be in court facing such offences.
Mr Hassall noted a pre-sentence report had deemed Edwin a “moderate to low” risk of reoffending, a finding Justice Burns said he had difficulty accepting.
Justice Burns said he thought “one could not be so optimistic”, given the nature of the offences and the length of time over which they were committed.
Crown prosecutor Mark Fernandez said the crimes were committed while Edwin was in a position of trust, and said the victims had been vulnerable because of their age.
He said the evidence of the victim and her mother on Tuesday gave a window into the emotional and psychological pain the crimes had already caused, and would continue to cause in later life.
Justice Burns will hand down his sentence on September 12, noting that a significant term of imprisonment was inevitable.

www.canberratimes.com.au (6-8-2013)
Christopher Knaus

Former youth pastor jailed for sexual assault of intellectually impaired woman

A Former youth pastor who sexually assaulted an intellectually impaired woman he met at church has been sentenced to three years in jail.
The defendant, 41, took the middle-aged woman to lunch at KFC before he took her back to his house and showed her pornography on a laptop computer, the District Court in Brisbane has been told.
He then kissed her, helped her undress and took her to his bed before he rubbed his penis over her genital area while simulating intercourse. He also touched the woman's breasts.
Crown prosecutor David Nardone said the defendant used a "degree of manipulation" over the woman and told her "it would help her to forget about her father's death". He later told her to not tell anyone.
The court was told the woman's IQ fell within extremely low range of intelligence and 99.7 per cent of her peers performed better.
She had issues with communication, socialising, independent functioning and vocational skills and lived with her elderly mother.
She had met the defendant about 20 years earlier and saw the father-of-four as a family friend.
After she told police what happened, four to six weeks later in June last year, he denied sexual contact and told police he had not seen the woman for months.
A psychiatrist said the woman suffered nightmares, was scared most days and remained fearful the defendant "would come and get her".
Mr Nardone described aspects of the sexual offence as "particularly degrading".
He said the breach of trust was significant after the pastor had made an association with the woman through the church.
Defence barrister Jakub Lodziak said his client had not pre-planned the sexual offending.
He said his client was a "giving and law-abiding member of society and family man" and committed the crime after the breakdown of his marriage.
It had been a "dark time" and the defendant described his offending as "the biggest mistake of his life".
He was most recently employed as a safety adviser.
Judge Leanne Clare SC said the defendant had acted as a predator against his victim whose impairments were "substantial and obvious".
"You were a trusted figure from the church from the past and someone who she knew as a friend,"she said.
"You exploited her vulnerability and manipulated her trust at a time she was still grieving for her father.
"She had grown up in a close protected family - you destroyed her innocence and you robbed her of much of the enjoyment of her life."
The defendant will spend nine months in jail of his three-year sentence, before it is suspended.
As he was walked out of court by guards, a family member of the victim said: "Rot in hell."
A spokesman for the church said the defendant had not been employed by, or attended, the church for over two years and was not an employee when the offences occurred.
"We were shocked to hear these allegations and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim," the church said.

www.couriermail.com.au (18-12-2013)
Thomas Chamberlin

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