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Amanda Todd's mom urges more jail time for tormentor, as Dutch court mulls sentence

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The mother of B.C. teenager Amanda Todd, who was bullied into suicide by a Dutch national, said she'll be “so angry” if a court in Amsterdam doesn't give him significant extra jail time on the basis of his Canadian conviction last year.

Judges at the Amsterdam District Court said earlier Thursday they would rule in two weeks on the conversion of the 13-year sentence for Aydin Coban, who was convicted of extorting and harassing Amanda.

Her mother Carol Todd, who was in Washington, D.C., to speak to a group campaigning against child exploitation, said the Dutch process is part of a “never-ending story,” a remark echoing a message held up by Amanda in a YouTube video describing her ordeal before she died in 2012.

“If you remember Amanda's very first card on her video, and she said this is my never-ending story, it's as if she foretold that,” Carol Todd said. “I can't always dwell on the negative. I'd love him to be in jail for 13 years, right? If we get four-and-a-half, we'll have to live with that. If he only gets a year, I'll be very angry and very upset.”

Todd said the timing of the latest hearing, a week after Amanda's birthday, has been difficult, but she will continue to raise awareness of online predators driven by “a mother's love and a mother's passion” to keep other children safe.

“It brings Amanda's story up to the forefront, and it allows other parents to revisit Amanda's story and talk to their kids about it,” she said about the ongoing legal process. “And so to me, that's a good point.

“I don't know if I'll ever feel that there was enough justice done for Amanda if her predator doesn't get any more prison time, but it's something that I'll just have to deal with and live with.”

Coban was already serving an 11-year Dutch sentence for cyberbullying more than 30 other victims when he was sent to Canada to stand trial in the Todd case, on the condition he serve any sentence in the Netherlands.

Coban's lawyers said he should get no extra time in a Dutch prison for the Todd case, while prosecutors say Coban should serve about 4 1/2 years of his Canadian sentence in the Netherlands.

Carol Todd said her preference is clear.

“Everyone agreed that he would come to Canada to have a trial, and so the sentencing should stand. Otherwise, why did they send him to Canada, right?”

The Canadian sentence must be converted in order to conform with Dutch rules.

Coban blackmailed 15-year-old Amanda to expose herself in front of a webcam. She took her own life after recounting her ordeal in the YouTube video that has been watched by millions around the world.

Earlier this year, the Amsterdam court said it needed more information from Canadian authorities before converting the sentence. That information was added to the case dossier but not explained in Thursday's hearing.

Coban was not in court for the brief hearing where his lawyer, Robert Malewicz, told a three-judge panel his client should get no extra time, but if they disagree, they should impose a maximum sentence of one year, with half the sentence suspended.

The Amsterdam court said it would deliver its sentencing judgment on Dec. 21. It can be appealed in the Dutch Supreme Court.

With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2023.

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