Dutch suspect calls paedophilia 'a curse'

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Robert Mikelsons has told the Amsterdam court he regards his sexual feelings as a curse.

He has confessed to abusing 87 children, both at a daycare centre where he used to work and as a private babysitter.

“I call it a curse, because I never asked for it. It was imposed on me.” Mikelsons spoke of “the hand I have been dealt.”

He told the court that for a long time he succeeded in repressing his feelings, but eventually gave in. He said he had had to be his “own keeper".

"24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I kept it up for ten years. I wonder if anybody else in my situation would have done any better.”

Mikelsons had asked the court whether he could make a statement prior to being questioned. He said he wanted to make a statement in order to create a more accurate image of himself than has been presented by the Dutch media so far.

Earlier today, a special court ruled that the judges of the case would not be replaced after the defence lawyers challenged their impartiality on behalf of their client.

(gsh/imm)

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