Indian court sentences Britons for child sodomy

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Two British men were sentenced to six years in jail in India on Friday for sodomising young boys living at a children's shelter.

Supreme Court justices P. Sathasivam and B. S. Chauhan said the men were "evil influences" on the children who had sought safety at the Anchorage Shelter Home in Mumbai in a ruling upholding a 2006 lower court verdict.

Duncan Grant and John Allan Waters were accused of sodomy and sexual assault by a 15-year-old boy who lived at the Anchorage Shelter Home in Mumbai. Other boys had made similar complaints.

The shelter had been set up by Grant, a London charity worker, with money raised in Britain.

Retired Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Grant and Waters "had sex with children on multiple occasions", the judges said.

The two men were not in India when the charges were filed in 2001.

Grant, who also ran children's charities in Tanzania, was extradited from the African nation in 2004. Waters was extradited from the United States in the same year after Interpol alerts were issued against the men.

According to a 2007 national study in India, half of the 15,000 children and young adults surveyed said they had suffered some form of sexual abuse.

A fifth of the child respondents said they had experienced severe sexual abuse, according to the study, conducted by an Indian NGO Prayas and backed by the United Nations.

© 2011 AFP

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