A victim of a paedophile who used her to produce pornography has told a court of the paranoia, anxiety and mistrust she still suffers after being betrayed by someone she thought of as her “dearest friend”.
Navin Edwin, 33, is being sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court for a series of offences against a number of girls over an extended period of time.
Those charges include producing and possessing child pornography, acts of indecency, and child grooming.
Edwin, who is the son of an Indian diplomat, faced two trials in June, and proclaimed his innocence in both.
But both juries dismissed his explanations for the acts, and found him guilty.
He now faces a “significant term of imprisonment”.
One of Edwin's victims took to the witness box on Tuesday morning to describe the impact of the crimes on her young life.
The teenage girl spoke while Edwin was sitting in the room, just metres away.
She told the court of her shock and surprise when police first informed her she had been the victim of a child groomer.
She spoke of her hesitation when, as a 15-year-old girl, Edwin first asked her to send explicit pictures of herself, but said he responded positively when he saw the images, telling her she should be proud of her beauty.
The victim said she blamed herself for months, and now has major difficulties trusting anyone, particularly men.
She told the court she was anxious and paranoid about her relationships because she felt as though she had got it “oh so wrong” with Edwin.
Her mother also gave evidence in the sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
She told the court of how “that man” had completely destroyed her family.
She spoke of her constant fear for her daughter's safety, even when she was in her own room.
The court heard how the girl could no longer go to school camps, had problems with male teachers at her school, and hated being away from her mother.
The woman spoke of being struck by fear as she approached her daughter's bedroom each night, feeling her heart beat quicken.
The mother spoke of beating herself up about what Edwin had done to her daughter, and said not a day went by that she did not think about it.
“I do not know the extent of the innocence she has lost,” the mother said.
“She has to carry this with her for the rest of her life."
She spoke of Edwin's deceit and his abuse of the family's vulnerable position.
“He sucked everyone around him into his sick little world,” she said.
Edwin has already spent two years and 10 months in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
The court heard he would be deported when he had served whatever sentence Justice John Burns imposes next month.
His defence barrister, Markus Hassall, said Edwin had undertaken employment, activities and programs in the jail, and told the court Edwin's poetry and artwork had won prizes.
Mr Hassall said his client had had an “unusual and privileged” upbringing as the son of an Indian diplomat, but said he frequently traveled internationally as a child and lacked “continuity”.
He said it was strange for someone of Edwin's background to be in court facing such offences.
Mr Hassall noted a pre-sentence report had deemed Edwin a “moderate to low” risk of reoffending, a finding Justice Burns said he had difficulty accepting.
Justice Burns said he thought “one could not be so optimistic”, given the nature of the offences and the length of time over which they were committed.
Crown prosecutor Mark Fernandez said the crimes were committed while Edwin was in a position of trust, and said the victims had been vulnerable because of their age.
He said the evidence of the victim and her mother on Tuesday gave a window into the emotional and psychological pain the crimes had already caused, and would continue to cause in later life.
Justice Burns will hand down his sentence on September 12, noting that a significant term of imprisonment was inevitable.