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Man who harassed Amanda Todd may not get more jail time, says victim’s mother

Aydin Coban scheduled to return to the Netherlands this week
Carol Todd with Premier John Horgan for a speaking engagement at the BC Legislature on Pink Shirt Day in 2019. (Special to The News)

The man who extorted and harassed Amanda Todd, driving her to take her own life, is expected to leave B.C. to return to the Netherlands this week.

Carol Todd fears the man who tormented her daughter may serve none of the 13-year prison sentence imposed by a Canadian Court, if he can use the Dutch legal system to his advantage.

Aydin Coban, 44, was sentenced in October, after being convicted of extortion, two counts of possession of child pornography, child luring and criminal harassment.

READ ALSO: B.C. judge sentences ‘sextortionist’ to 13 years in case involving Amanda Todd

Justice Martha Devlin of the B.C. Supreme Court said Coban’s calculated conduct caused the girl mental anguish and social isolation, contributing to her suicide.

Coban was already sentenced to 10 years and 243 days in prison in the Netherlands, in 2017, for similar crimes involving 34 young men and women.

He was extradited to Canada from the Netherlands, and first appeared in court on Dec. 8, 2020.

Dutch Journalist Tessel Linders quoted a criminal lawyer who specializes in extradition law, who said his Canadian sentencing may be just “for the stage.” His opinion is based on the Dutch criminal code, which stipulates if someone has a punishment imposed, then is found guilty of the same type of offence, the punishment already given applies.

Extradition agreements between Canada and the Netherlands state Coban is able to serve his sentence in the Netherlands.

When he arrives home, in the very near future, Coban’s sentence will be converted to Dutch standards in a hearing.

He must be returned to the Netherlands 45 days after the date of sentencing in Canada, which is no later than Nov. 28.

Carol Todd said she will not be told when Coban leaves Canada, but she will be told when he arrives in his home country.

“If he hasn’t left already, he has to leave this week,” she told The News on Tuesday.

She has known for some time that his Canadian sentence may not result in additional jail time for Coban, but as this tragic case reaches another waypost, was still “venting” in social media at the injustice she sees. Her friends and supporters are furious, and she has to hide and delete Facebook posts from them about the issue, she said.

Amanda Todd took her own life in 2012, at the age of 15. Her death highlighted the menace of online bullying, as she posted a YouTube video in which she told her story on handwritten placards, describing how she was lured by a stranger to expose her breasts on a webcam. The picture ended up on a Facebook page, and she was repeatedly bullied, despite changing schools. Todd took her own life weeks after posting the video. It has been viewed millions of times.

Carol Todd noted defence lawyers stated during sentencing that Coban has been missing his books, music, being able to play his guitar and exercise time.

“He took the innocence away from so many young girls,” said Todd in social media. “And he took the soul, innocence, and will to thrive away from Amanda Michelle Todd.”

She noted he could be on parole as soon as Sept. 2023 on early release. If not, he will be released by August 2024.

Todd noted the Netherlands do not have a sex offender registry.

“When he’s free, he’s free.”

She tries to see positive, in that his 13-year sentence becomes part of case law in Canada, helping to ensure those convicted of similar crimes in future will not get “a slap on the wrist.”

Todd is a Port Coquitlam resident, and noted Coban has been held at North Fraser Pre-Trial there. She can’t help but think of him as she drives on Kingsway Avenue.

“It’s ironic that he’s been in my community for two years,” she said, and offered “good riddance” to sending him back to the Netherlands.

READ ALSO: Mother, 52, identified as victim of Prince Rupert murder-suicide

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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