Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Optician jailed for sex act in West Yorkshire shop

An optician who performed a sex act on himself while giving a vision test to a 14-year-old girl has been jailed.

John Gill was convicted last year of engaging in sexual activity in front of a child in his shop in Knottingley, West Yorkshire.

The 36-year-old, of Hunters Way, Selby, committed the act as he tested the girl's vision in the back room of his shop in 2008.

Judge Rodney Grant jailed Gill for 21 months at Leeds Crown Court.

The judge told Gill: "The offence of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child was, in my view, one which was serious.

"It was aggravated by the fact that you betrayed the trust that (the girl) placed in you.

"She had been a patient of yours for some considerable time and she trusted you to the extent that when she received a telephone call to tell her that her contact lenses were available for collection, she ran down to your shop and it was while she was there you committed the offence for which you were found guilty.

"That, for a young child, is a considerable breach of trust. She was entitled to be protected by you and not subjected to the behaviour that you indulged in."

'Public humiliation'

Gill was also convicted last year of outraging public decency after two women, who were with their children at the time, saw him committing a sex act on himself while he was sitting in a chair in the window of his shop in 2007.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the offence of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and a consecutive three-month sentence for outraging public decency.

The trial heard Gill took the girl into the back room of his store when she went to collect her contact lenses.

He told her she would need a vision test to check the lenses were correct.

When she was having this exam she said she saw Gill with his hand down his trousers.

John Elvidge, representing Gill, said the proceedings had been a "very public humiliation" for his client.

A sexual offences prevention order was made banning Gill from contacting the girl. He was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

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