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Cape Town - A Cape Town teacher was jailed for 18 months on Wednesday for sexually grooming a 14-year-old boy, the National Prosecuting Authority said.
The Wynberg Regional Court suspended Duncan Phillips's sentence for four years with conditions, said Western Cape NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila.
Phillips's name would be entered into the sexual offences register.
He was the boy's former substitute teacher a few years ago and ran a market where the boy's father had a stall.
“Last year, Phillips sent out a Facebook friend request to the boy. After acceptance of this friend request, they began to chat on the BBM (Blackberry Messaging) service,” Ntabazalila said.
“Initially they chatted about school, sports and everyday life. Soon thereafter a message of a sexual nature was sent by the accused to the complainant.”
The boy's mother found the message on his phone and reported it to the police.
Ntabazalila said the teacher admitted in court to typing the message but argued that he had no intention to commit a sexual offence.
The NPA welcomed the sentence and called on parents to monitor their childrens' cellular phones, which were being targeted by people with “dirty ulterior motives”.
“We will continue to play our role of prosecuting, continuing to prosecute those that are caught and arrested but parents need to play their role to ensure that their children continue being protected from these perverts.”