Australia jails Indian diplomat's son for paedophilia

Press Trust of India Posted online: Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Melbourne : 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.