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Mom of teen targeted by cyberbullying frustrated by Dutch sentencing delay

Carol Todd said situation extends the never-ending story of the death of her daughter, Amanda
Amanda Todd’s mother Carol Todd leaves the New Westminster Law Courts in New Westminster, B.C. Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The mother of a British Columbia teen who took her own life after years of cyberbullying and sextortion by a man from the Netherlands said the latest delay at a Dutch court has added to her “never-ending story.”

Carol Todd said she had hoped to learn the court had converted a 13-year Canadian sentence imposed on Aydin Coban in British Columbia last fall after he was convicted of harassment and extortion in the relentless online stalking that led to the 2012 death of her daughter, Amanda Todd.

The conversion would have integrated the Canadian sentence into a Dutch prison term imposed earlier on Coban for similar crimes.

Instead, Todd said she was told the Dutch court wants more specifics on when Coban might have been released in Canada if he had served the 13-year sentence.

Todd made the comments Thursday while speaking to reporters at Vancouver International Airport.

Coban was in his 30s at the time he blackmailed Todd’s daughter into exposing herself in front of a webcam.

The 15-year-old from Port Coquitlam, B.C., died by suicide after recounting her ordeal in a YouTube video that’s since been watched by millions around the world.

In a brief court hearing Thursday at which a new sentence was expected to be announced, a judge instead said the panel at Amsterdam District Court needs clarification from Canada about the most likely date Coban would be released if he were to serve his sentence in a Canadian prison.

“We have to take into account when he actually would have been released and Canadian authorities have given a couple of possible dates, but don’t say this is the most likely date that he would be released,” Coban’s lawyer Robert Malewicz told reporters at the courthouse.

No new date was set for a hearing in the case. The sentencing ruling can still be appealed in the Dutch Supreme Court.

Coban was already serving an 11-year sentence in the Netherlands for similar crimes targeting more than 30 other victims when he was extradited to Canada to face trial in Todd’s case. Her death brought the issue of cyberbullying to mainstream attention in Canada.

He was sent to Canada on the condition that he serve any sentence imposed there in a Dutch prison. The Canadian sentence must also be converted to Dutch sentencing norms.

Prosecutors said two weeks ago that under Dutch law, Coban should serve 4 1/2 years.

Malewicz called the 13-year Canadian sentence “exorbitantly high, even by Canadian standards.” He said Coban shouldn’t get any extra prison time, but if he does, it should be no more than one year, with six months suspended.

READ ALSO: B.C. teen Amanda Todd victim of a ‘persistent campaign’ of online ‘sextortion’: Crown