Last edited: April 16, 2005

Homosexual to Appeal Sentence

Fiji Times, April 12, 2005

THE Australian tourist who was jailed for two years last week for charges of unnatural offence and indecent practice between two males will appeal his conviction and sentencing today.

Thomas Maxwell McCoskar is expected to file his appeal and ask for bail in the Nadi court today.

Following that, McCoskar’s file is expected to be transferred to the Lautoka High Court which will hear the appeal.

McCoskar’s lawyer Iqbal Khan filed the appeal yesterday and is hopeful for his client’s release on bail today.

His client was jailed last Tuesday for having consensual sex with Dhirendra Nadan, a 23-year-old delivery boy, between March 24 and April 3.

Mr Khan is expected to argue that the trial magistrate erred in law by convicting McCoskar, as it was a breach of his constitutional right.

He adds that McCoskar was not advised to consult a lawyer before plea was taken, and that the nature of the allegations were not explained to him.

Furthermore, Mr Khan claims that McCoskar pleaded guilty to the charges after being told by police officers he would not go to jail because he was a first offender.

He said McCoskar wanted his plea set aside, claiming it was made under threat, pressure and inducement by police officers.

Mr Khan said the sentence was too harsh and excessive.

McCoskar, a former lecturer of Victoria, was on vacation when he met Nadan on March 24 and offered to pay him if he became his partner for a few days.

They went to a hotel in Nadi where Nadan posed for nude pictures and sexual acts after McCoskar promised to return to Australia and post the photos on the Internet to make money.

The allegations came to light after McCoskar lodged complaints with the police on April 3 of being robbed of $1500.

Both men admitted the charges when appearing before Nadi Magistrate Syed Mukhtar Shah and pleaded for leniency.

They said there was nothing wrong with what they had done because they enjoyed it.

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