Amanda Todd received ‘blackmail and threatening’ messages, says her father
Norman Todd tells court his daughter was shaken by several online posts: ‘She was scared and a bit panicked’
The story may contain disturbing content; reader discretion is advised.
The Port Coquitlam student’s father, Amanda Todd, spoke in British Columbia Supreme Court in New Westminster this afternoon (Tuesday), reiterating his ex-wife’s testimony about concerns over their late daughter’s use of social media.
Norman Todd told Judge Martha Devlin and the jury that Amanda had a personal laptop with a camera and a cell phone, and used her own computer, while living with him in Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge.
Todd said he knew Amanda had posted singing videos on YouTube and that she knew she was a regular Facebook user. Her computer and cell phone were “a big priority for her”.
“She had a lot of friends but she was going through a lot of friends quickly” and had problems at her schools, he told the court on June 7. “Social media was very important to her. I knew she was chatting a lot online.
At one point, when he took away her access to technology, she left her home for her mother Carol Todd’s home in Port Coquitlam.
Yet Amanda also shared some disturbing messages she had received with him. “Someone was stalking her online, the pedophile,” Todd said, adding that the content was about Amanda exposing herself on digital platforms.
These messages, which were also shared with her friends and family, “blackmailed and threatened her. She was scared and a little panicked.
Todd said his daughter sent several messages online, which he reported to the RCMP, and he also received two or three messages in his inbox with hyperlinks showing his daughter topless.
During an RCMP visit, police recommended the parents ban Amanda from social media – a decision Todd called “difficult”.
“It was one of his ways of social activity,” he testified.
And Todd said when he cut her off from tech, “she freaked out.”
Still, his move from Port Coquitlam to Maple Ridge with Amanda allowed him to step away from bullying at Pitt River Middle School and enroll in a new school, Westview Secondary, as well as get a fresh start — far of the “pedophile”. Todd told the court.
“The number one reason [for the move] was the pedophile,” he told the court.
Aydin Coban, originally from the Netherlands, is being tried on five counts. On Monday June 6, he pleaded not guilty to:
- import and distribute child pornography
- possession of child pornography
- communicate with the intention of attracting a child
None of the allegations are proven in court.
Todd testified that Amanda had trouble at Westview and Maple Ridge High Schools.
She struggled physically in February 2012. The following month she returned to live with her mother, he said.
const. Ryan Henley, the third Crown witness, told the jury that he was a youth resource officer in Maple Ridge in 2011 and during that time knew Amanda and the cases she was associated with.
He cited an incident in 2011 when a person named “Katie Hutchkins” emailed school administration at Westview Secondary, providing hyperlinks to her online activity and warning staff that he was their duty to report it to the authorities.
“Obviously they have failed in their parenting yet again,” the email read, referring to Carol and Norm Todd, and saying hundreds of people had viewed her explicit video online.
“It will ruin his life if this continues,” the email warned.
The now-retired officer said he reported the email to Ridge-Meadows Detachment Major Crimes Section and forwarded it to Coquitlam RCMP for investigation.
The trial continues.