A 24-year-old man was jailed for 20 months yesterday for sexual exploitation of a 12-year-old girl.
Shundray Gilbert, from Devonshire, was told in Magistrates’ Court that, although he had shown remorse and seemed to be at low risk of reoffending, he was in need of “extensive” psychological treatment and that prison time was unavoidable.
Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said: “These kinds of offences are considered are considered prevalent in this community and they often go undetected.
“When discovered by this court, it’s required that the sentence must be an immediate custodial sentence, a sentence of deterrence to reflect the community’s disapproval.”
Gilbert pleaded guilty on February 10 to three charges of touching the girl while in a position of trust.
The incidents happened between August 5, 2015, and July 10, 2016, when Gilbert was 19.
A social inquiry report and a psychological assessment were ordered and he was remanded in custody.
The court heard that the psychological report said that Gilbert was at moderate to low risk of reoffending.
But it was highlighted in court the social inquiry report considered he was a low risk for further offences.
Experts also suggested that Gilbert should have “extensive, robust, psychosocial, psychological and psychosexual intervention to address his presented issues”.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was asleep in her family living room when she was awakened by Gilbert touching her.
She told him to stop and he did, but he repeated the behaviour on subsequent nights and his contact escalated over several months.
The victim did not tell anyone until last year and her parents contacted the police.
Gilbert was arrested and admitted the offences when he was questioned.
Carrington Mahoney, for the Crown, said three years in jail with his time in custody taken into consideration, followed by three years of probation and psychological help, was an appropriate sentence.
But Bruce Swan, for the defence, said Gilbert’s family support made three years of probation unnecessary and asked for 18 months in jail and two years of probation.
Mr Swan added: “He at all times has taken responsibility for his actions and he has never shirked any responsibility.
“It seems quite obvious that he is aware of his challenges and that he is willing to stand up and take care of them.”
Gilbert told the court that the psychological assessment was a reflection of his mental state at the time of the offence and that he had changed.
He added: “I very, very quickly learnt what I did was wrong.”
Mr Tokunbo sentenced Gilbert to 20 months in jail on each charge, but ordered that they should run concurrently.
He said that Gilbert’s time on remand should be taken into consideration.
He also ordered that Gilbert should undergo three years of probation after release.