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Dutch man convicted of cyberbullying B.C.'s Amanda Todd to be sentenced Friday

The 12-year jail sentence requested by prosecutors would be "excessive" and "crushing," defence argues.

The Dutch citizen who tormented Port Coquitlam student Amanda Todd will be sentenced tomorrow (Oct. 14).

This morning (Oct. 13), after defence counsel finished its sentencing submissions, Justice Martha Devlin told BC Supreme Court that she would read her decision against Aydin Coban on Friday at 1 p.m.

Coban, 44, who typed on a laptop and read legal documents while in the prisoner's box, did not address the court at the end of the hearing. 

In August, following a nine-week trial at the New Westminster Law Courts, a jury convicted Coban on five counts for his persistent online campaign against Todd:

  • extortion
  • importing and distributing child pornography
  • possession of child pornography
  • communicating with the intent to lure a child
  • criminal harassment

Todd took her life a decade ago this week, on Oct. 10, 2012, at her home in Port Coquitlam.

Crown Counsel is seeking a global sentence of 12 years behind bars — to run consecutively to his 10-year sentence in the Netherlands, where he was convicted in 2017, after an appeal, at an Amsterdam District Court on 68 similar cyberbullying and sextortion offences against 33 girls.

However, lead defence lawyer Joe Saulnier is proposing that his client serve six years in jail to run concurrent with his Dutch sentence, or two years in prison to run consecutive to the Netherlands punishment.

In his submissions, Saulnier argued that the aggregate sentence would be excessive given that the Dutch crimes are similar in nature, and there is overlap with the offences in Canada.

"This is not an unrelated sentence," he told the judge.

"It's the same course of conduct. It's the same wrongful behaviour….It's the same conduct that you heard at this trial."

Saulnier pointed to a Dutch probation report that cited the Todd case and her suicide. "This was still part of the [Dutch] case," Saulnier contended.

But Devlin reminded Saulnier — on a least two occasions — that she is "not bound by the Dutch regime" for her sentence in Canada.

Saulnier also said his client is eager to return to his home country; in jail there, he has access to "books, music and options to exercise," as well as "other resources that he doesn’t have here."

Saulnier also briefly mentioned that Coban had targeted another Canadian girl; however, Coban wasn't extradited to face those offences, he said.

Saulnier said Coban has been in custody since he was arrested on Jan. 13, 2014, at the age of 36. 

And should the judge impose a 12-year consecutive sentence, as requested by the Crown, Coban would be out of prison at the age of 59 — a length of time in jail that would be "excessive" and "crushing," Saulnier told the court.