News headlines


Mumbai Mirror Report

Mumbai, Mar 19: Two paedophiles of British nationality were sentenced to six years of rigorous imprisonment by a sessions court on Friday for sexually abusing children at Anchorage shelter homes in Colaba in Mumbai and neighbouring Raigad district.

Sessions Judge P S Paranjpe sentenced Duncan Grant, who set up the shelter homes, and one of his close friends and customer, Allen Waters, to six years in jail and fined them 20,000 pounds each.

If they fail to deposit the money with the court within a year, they would have to spend another year in jail.

William D’Souza, an Indian national and manager at the Colaba shelter home, was sentenced to three years in jail.

The judgement brought to a close the three-month trial and a struggle for justice for the abused children stretching over four years.

Each of the two victims, who deposed against the accused, will get Rs 5 lakh each from the compensation amount.

“One of the objects for awarding compensation is to wipe out India’s name from the sex tourism map. Only time can say whether the court is able to do that. Let paedophiles all over the world know that India should not be their destination,” Judge Paranjpe said.

He ordered that Advocate Maharukh Adenwalla, Kalindi Majumdar, ex-vice principal of Nirmala Niketan and one more person would look into the needs of the children after the realisation of the amount.

As the judgement was delivered, Waters wept silently, while Grant maintained a straight face. D’Souza was not present in the court room packed with media people, including British journalists, and some inmates from the Anchorage shelter home.

The judge said he had complete confidence in the statements of the two prosecution witnesses.

Coming down heavily on the police for shoddy investigations, Judge Paranjpe said that the police should understand that in paedophilia cases there will always be reluctance on the part of witnesses to depose before a court.

Special Public Prosecutor Vijay Nahar, bringing to the court’s notice that Grant had opened another shelter home in Tanzania after his activities were exposed in India in 2000-2001, said he must be awarded a deterrent punishment.

Both Grant and Waters had left the country as a probe was launched into their activities.  Waters was deported from USA in 2004 after an Interpol red-corner notice, while Grant was arrested in Tanzania and brought to India.

Advocate Adenwalla was teary- eyed as the judgement was announced. “It is a huge victory for us. Finally, justice has been done,” she said.

  

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