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Indian diplomat's jailed paedophile son appeals term in Australia

Thursday, 7 August 2014 - 4:38pm IST | Place: Melbourne | Agency: PTI
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A 34-year-old paedophile son of an Indian diplomat who was jailed by an Australian court for over 10 years for a series of sexual offences on Thursday appealed the sentence, claiming the jail term was "manifestly excessive." Navin Edwin was last year sentenced to 10 years and eight months in jail, with a non-parole period of six and a half years, for offences committed against three young girls in 2009 and 2010.

The court had then said Edwin was a shameless liar who had shown no remorse. He was found guilty of 17 offences against three young girls, including producing and possessing child pornography, acts of indecency and child grooming. Edwin also sent a naked image of himself to one victim.

Edwin, the son of an Indian diplomat whose identity was not disclosed, will be eligible for parole in March 2017. Edwin's legal team today appealed the length of the sentence to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Court of Appeal as too harsh, The Canberra Times reported. But a reduced sentence will only speed up Navin Edwin's deportation from Australia.

Edwin's criminal activities were uncovered after he sent explicit text messages to an 11-year-old's mobile phone. But adults intercepted the communications and notified the police. Edwin unsuccessfully attempted to explain his crimes at two trials in May last year, claiming the pornography was part of medical research and an art project.

His legal team initially appealed the conviction and the sentence. But Edwin's counsel Shane Gill withdrew the appeal against the conviction during a hearing today. Gill said the jail term imposed on Edwin had been a harsher penalty "than could properly be imposed."

The counsel said it had been unclear why similar offences Edwin committed had attracted different penalties when the sentencing judge calculated the amount of time to be served. In response, Canberra prosecutors opposed the appeal, arguing the applicants had not established a case that showed the sentence had been excessive.

Crown prosecutor Margaret Jones said the different penalties for similar offences had been due to victim's requirements to give evidence in court. The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.




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