Carol Todd said justice was done, after the man who tormented her daughter Amanda until she took her own life was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Friday in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster, Justice Martha Devlin handed “internet sextortionist” Aydin Coban, a 44-year-old Dutch man, a sentence that was a year longer than the Crown prosecutor had asked for.
The story of the 15-year-old girl gained worldwide attention when she posted a video weeks before her death in 2012 using flash cards to explain how she was harassed and extorted by an anonymous online predator. He set out to ruin her life, and his tactics led to her being the victim of bullying. The video has been viewed tens of millions of times.
Monday was the tenth anniversary of her death.
On Saturday, Carol Todd told Black Press she is still processing the results of the trial. She was anxious, after watching for nine weeks, about what the sentence would be – particularly after the defence had asked for two years, to be served after the 11-year sentence Coban is currently serving for similar crimes in the Netherlands.
With little precedents in Canada for his crimes, the bereaved mother did not know what to expect.
“I didn’t want him to walk away after two years.”
When his current sentence from the Netherlands is finished in 2024, he should begin serving the 13-year Canadian sentence.
When she heard Devlin say 13 years, Todd thought she had heard wrong. She had to confirm the number with her son, who watched the sentencing with her.
Todd said she is pleased with that sentence, and that it “sets a high bar” as a sentencing precedent for those convicted of similar crimes in the future.
“I’m really glad Amanda got justice,” she said. “It’s bittersweet.”
“It’s still a lot to take in,” said Todd. “That chapter is going to be closed, but there’s still a new chapter.”
Next, Coban will return to the Netherlands, where he will serve the sentence, and a conversion hearing will consider the Canadian sentence and how much time will be served in his home country.
“It could disappoint us,” said Todd, who believes the full 13 years is the appropriate sentence.
The Amanda Todd Legacy Society is also going strong, she said, and the non-profit works to prevent and bring awareness to bullying, cyberabuse, and internet safety.
Todd joined with Canadian media in petitioning the courts to lift a publication ban on the trial, which would normally be in place for a case involving sex crimes against a minor. She felt it’s what her daughter wanted.
“Amanda created a video to be shared, in terms of what happened to her,” Todd said, adding without her daughter’s video, and without it being shared across Canada and internationally, there likely would not have been a trial.
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