A man in his mid-50s will spend the next two years behind bars for indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl back in 2012.
Madam Justice Michelle Weekes imposed the sentence on Ian Elsworth Royer of 1st Avenue Kellman Land, Black Rock, St Michael in the No. 2 Supreme Court Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty to the charge early last year.
The incident occurred on July 13, 2012, during the child’s summer vacation, while she was at home waiting for a refrigerator to be delivered to her house.
Following her mother’s instructions, the girl called Royer, a neighbour, to come over and help her when the delivery truck arrived.
During the wait, Royer pulled down the child’s tube top and sucked her breasts. The second form student tried to resist, but Royer persisted. After the delivery was made, the man continued his assault of the little girl, pulling her into a nearby bedroom, putting his hand over her mouth, pushing her onto the bed and rubbing her genitals. She tried to escape but Royer was too strong and, out of fear, she did not scream.
The assault ended when Royer’s mobile phone vibrated and he left the house, telling the girl that he would be back.
However, she called another neighbour who came to her assistance and kept her at another location until her mother returned home.
The matter was reported to police and Royer admitted to the offence and was charged.
Royer’s lawyer, Silbert Cadogan, urged the court to impose a suspended sentence on his client, based on the fact that he had no prior convictions, had pleaded guilty to the offence and no violence had been used in committing the offence.
However, the prosecutor in the case, Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas disagreed and called for an 18-month prison term to be imposed, saying that the sentence in this case should be “one of deterrence” in hopes of protecting vulnerable young women in society. He also contended that Royer’s assault represented a “breach of trust of one’s neighbour”.
Justice Weekes agreed, saying that the victim was only 11 years at the time and Royer was 39 years her senior.
“There was a relationship of trust between the virtual complainant, her mother and you, as a neighbour,” she told Royer. “You were regarded a friend of the family . . . permitted entrance to their home . . . and then violated the virtual complainant in what should have been her safe place.”
Adding that the girl had become disruptive at school and fought with boys after her ordeal, the judge added: “This serious breach of trust . . . [caused] the child significant distress, as evidence by her change in behaviour.
“This court’s view is that any sentence must reflect the disapproval and repugnance with which our society regards sexual assaults, particularly those against our young children, so that this can serve as a deterrent to others who have similar inclinations.
“Two years imprisonment to commence from this day. . . . Take him away,” Justice Weekes ordered.