An Indian judge acts to “wipe the name of India from the map of sexual tourism” as he sentences two former British Navy officers of “unnatural sex acts” and conspiring to “obtain minors for immoral purposes”.
Lt Cdr Allan Waters, 57, and Duncan Grant, 61, were both jailed for six years each and ordered to pay Â£20,000 to their victims. Subsequently, child rights lawyers have called for a domestic inquiry as Waters worked with the British Sea Cadet Corps for over 30 years. Indeed it has now emerged that he was accused of abusing a sea cadet in the UK during the 1980s. However Colin Bonner, the Sea Cadets’ director of administration, said the organisation remained “unconvinced” that Waters was capable of sexual abuse. Yug Chaudhry, who studied law at Cambridge and represented the Indian Childline charity in this case, said it was “inconceivable and inexplicable” that the Sea Cadets would not investigate Waters further.
The courst also convicted Michael D’Souza, who ran the Anchorage Shelter, from where the paedophilia ring ran. Grant set up the shelter in Mumbai in 1995 and Waters was a regular visitor. The Telegraph reports:
The court heard that the street boys, aged from eight to 18, were used as objects of “sexual lust” by Grant, Waters and several other foreigners who frequently took boys with them “on holiday” to coastal resorts in Goa.
Boys were also subjected to a brutal regime of corporal punishment in which they were stripped naked and regularly caned by Jesuit-educated Grant and the local manager of his shelter.
Grant is grandson of Major General Sir Philip Grant, who led the defence against the German 1918 March offensive and was able to call upon immense resources to fund the shelter and his defence. His supporters included Felicity Kendal, two Tory MPs and high-ranking British naval officers, all convinced he had devoted his life to the street children of Mumbai, despite inspections demonstrating the children were frequently beaten.
The Telegraph has also set out a timeline for the entire case here, charting how the men tried to avoid capture and attempted to start new shelters elsewhere.
One can only hope they get a taste of their own medicine in a friendly Indian jail.
In a somewhat more encouraging demonstration of human nature, Judge P.S. Paranjape also ruled that the court had a responsibility to all victims, to ensure they receive appropriate support and counselling. The Mumbai Mirror also leads with the story of Shantaram’s sidekick, Prabaker. In real life he is Mumbai cabbie Kishore (pictured), to whom victims of the abuse at Anchorage turned:
“I was 12 years old when I became a victim of paedophilia. The exploitation went on for eight years…I had seen these children [from Anchorage] so when they came to me for help I knew exactly what was happening to them.”
Kishore sought the help of an American resident in an area he worked, who in turn contacted Childline and writer Meher Pestonjee. You can read the rest of the story, including Kishore’s rather interesting life here. Shantaram is soon to be a motion picture starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Emily Watson.
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