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Man sent to prison for 18 months for touching schoolgirl

A 45-year-old man who admitted he inappropriately touched a teenage girl was yesterday sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.Dwayne David Beach pleaded guilty in October to kissing the 14-year-old’s cheek, pressing his body against hers for a sexual purpose and invading her privacy.The victim cannot be named for legal reasons.The court heard the teenager was walking to school around 7.30am on October 5 when Beach approached her, asking her age.The Camp Hill, Warwick resident grabbed the girl and pulled her between two cottages, where he kissed her cheek and gyrated on top of her.He then said to the victim: “If you do not tell anyone [about this] I will spoil you.”The girl managed to pull away from Beach and run away. She told a faculty member about the incident once she reached school.She later identified Beach as her attacker.Beach initially pleaded not guilty to the offence but changed his plea on October 22.Yesterday, Crown counsel Tawana Tannock described the attack as predatory in nature, with Beach laying in wait until the girl approached.She said the victim is afraid to walk alone to school since the incident and her parents are afraid to have her walk by herself.Lawyer Kenneth Savoury stressed his client’s previously clean record. He said the incident was the result of heavy drinking.“He had already had a considerable amount of alcohol by that time in the morning,” Mr Savoury said. “He has a problem with alcohol.”Beach apologised to both the victim and the court, saying: “I feel bad for what I have done. This will never happen again, I have learnt my lesson.”Magistrate Khamisi Tokumbo said that offences of this nature need to be dealt with seriously.“The offence you have committed on this young school girl was predatory and almost animalistic in nature in the way you accosted her,” Mr Tokunbo said. “It had to be a traumatising event for her and her family.“Young school children should be safe to walk the streets on their way to school and not worry about being accosted by older men in a sexual manner.”Mr Tokumbo sentenced Beach to 18 months’ imprisonment for invading the victim’s privacy. He gave him an additional 12 months’ imprisonment for each charge of sexually touching a minor, and ordered them to run concurrently.Beach will have to serve two years’ probation following the prison term. As part of that he must participate in a sexual offenders’ programme and undergo treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.