Melbourne, Sept 26: A 34-year-old paedophile son of an Indian diplomat was today sentenced by an Australian court for over ten years in jail for a series of sexual offences and faces deportation at the end of his prison term.
Navin Edwin, was sentenced by 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. Edwin 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 to find him guilty of 17 offences, including producing and possessing child pornography, acts of indecency, and child grooming.
Edwin's criminal activities were discovered after adults swapped a series of text messages with the man via an 11-year-old victim's mobile phone. The adults notified the police who then raided the man's home and discovered home-made child pornography on his electronic equipment.
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 and was satisfied that he felt none. "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.
"You understand that this attraction is viewed as abhorrent in the community, and that acting upon it, as you did when you committed these offences, constitutes serious criminal conduct," Burns said.
"For what it is worth, I would certainly add my recommendation that you be deported," the judge said.