Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn imposed a sentence of 12 weeks’ immediate imprisonment after finding a man guilty of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 13.

The incident leading to the charge occurred last year at Smith Barcadere (also known as Smith Cove). The magistrate said the location aggravated the offence, as it is “a location for recreation, and the fact of this occurrence has the ability to undermine the jurisdiction’s reputation as a place for safe family gatherings and enjoyment”.

The magistrate heard evidence from the girl, other Crown witnesses and defendant Ivin Simon, who had pleaded not guilty. She determined that Simon had used the girl’s hand to touch his penis, which was covered by his shorts. She said Simon was a predator because he had targeted the girl, but the incident was not planned and the offending act was “a fleeting one”.

The girl told the court that she was at the beach with two adults and two other children. She said the man started “staring her down” and eventually he started asking her questions. She found his behaviour “weird”.

Later, in the water, he asked her if she could swim and she showed him how she swam.

Then as she played a water game with other children, he approached her, grabbed her hand and placed it on his shorts. She grabbed her hand away and got out of the water, telling the other children she was tired. She reported the matter to an adult in her group and that person called police. She said she told the other children not to go near the man because of what he had done to her.

When police arrived, they arrested Simon. When cautioned, he replied, “Officer, please understand I did nothing wrong.”

In his interview, he said he was in the water and asked some children if they could teach him how to swim and they agreed. He said he accidentally grabbed the hand of one of the children, but did not use it to touch himself.

He said he then got out of the water and offered a group of children ice cream.

Defence attorney Dennis Brady spoke in mitigation, explaining that Simon, from India, worked as a chef in Cayman. He asked for a non-custodial sentence, on the basis that incarceration would lead to expenditure from the public purse.

The magistrate said public policy called for imprisonment for serious offences. The custody threshold had been passed in this case and there were no appropriate alternatives to custody, she indicated.

Sentencing for this level of offence ranged from a community service order to one-year custody.

She accepted that Simon, 36, had been of good character and this conviction would no doubt have an adverse impact on his ability to provide for his family.

In addition to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, she granted a sexual harm prevention order and recommended deportation.

The magistrate also ordered there be no publication of details of the case “including by social media” that might lead to the identification of the child victim. The order applies for the duration of the child’s life.

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