Dutch paedophile creche worker gets tougher sentence

26th April 2013, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch judge upped a convicted paedophile's sentence on appeal to 19 years on Friday for sexually abusing 67 children, many of them babies, in a criminal case she described as "hardly comparable to any other".

The Amsterdam court last year sent the man only identified as Robert M. to 18 years behind bars, after he admitted to sexually abusing small children and babies as young as eight months while working at nurseries around the Dutch capital.

Judge Helma Tilleman added another year to M.'s sentence after he appealed, saying he had violated the trust parents put in him "in the worst way imaginable".

"The court therefore sentences the accused to 19 years," Tilleman said.

Prosecutors wanted the maximum of 20 years. Judge Tilleman also ordered M. undergo psychiatric treatment.

The judge said his crimes were of such a serious nature that his punishment had to be upped and that judges did not believe his statements that he constantly battled to control his "pedo-sexual urges".

"In fact, he deliberately sought out opportunities to abuse children -- and he succeeded," Tillemans said in a delayed Internet broadcast of proceedings by Dutch national broadcaster NOS.

"In this case, the abuse was so horrific and huge amounts of pornographic material were distributed to like-minded individuals," she said.

"It's a criminal case hardly comparable to any other," the judge said.

Robert M. was arrested in December 2011 at his Amsterdam home after a police investigation into child pornography in the United States uncovered pictures of a two-year-old Dutch child.

A few days later police arrested Robert M.'s live-in partner Richard O. who was originally sent to six years in jail for his role. His sentence was reduced to four-and-a-half years on Friday.

Robert M.'s case shocked the Netherlands where many working parents are dependent on day-care facilities to look after babies and children.

The case sparked a number of investigations to see how the safety of infants and children could be improved.

© 2013 AFP

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