Melbourne: A 40-year-old Indian man
pleaded guilty on Wednesday on charges of indecently assaulting three
minor Australian girls he had met through religious groups.
A Victorian court heard that Sivakumar Chidambaram --
a computer programmer hailing from South India -- pleaded
guilty to three counts of indecent assault on a child under 16
and one count of possessing child pornography.
Chidambaram`s lawyer, David Drake, told the court that
the Indian was a devout Hindu and a Hare Krishna and much
"like a small frightened bird".
The court was told that Chidambaram, who had met the
girls -- aged five, seven and 10 -- through Christian and
Hindu religious groups, had "inappropriately" touched them.
Local media here reported that Chidambaram hailing
from South India assaulted two sisters in October last year
while at lunch with their father at a pastor`s home in
Melbourne`s west, and a third girl on a bus while her mother
waited to meet them at a Melbourne shopping centre.
However, his lawyer told the court that he was devout
and was more like a child.
"He spends some three hours a day in prayer which...
involves repeating the mantra `Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
Hare Hare," Drake said.
"He says that thousands of times per day and it`s from
that he derives inner peace."
Chidambaram, who came to Australia in 1995 for work,
had abused the 10-year-old and seven-year-old sisters after
meeting them and their father through a small Christian