Staff Writer

THE Wynberg Regional Court has sentenced teacher Duncan Phillips, 27, to 18 months suspended for four years for sexual grooming of a pupil.

He had sent a 14-year-old boy an SMS of a “sexual nature”.

After his sentencing yesterday his name was listed in the Sexual Offences Register.

The court heard

Phillips had run a market at which the pupil’s father had a stall. Phillips sent a Facebook-friend request to the boy and after the pupil accepted Phillips began to chat on the BlackBerry Messenger service.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said: “Initially, they (Phillips and the boy) chatted about school, sports and everyday life.

“Soon Phillips sent a message of a ‘sexual nature’ to the boy.

“When the pupil’s mother found the message she called the police who arrested him immediately.”

The message read: “(You) must stretch your d*** while wanking and also, another hand around your d*** would be amazing.”

The boy and his mother testified in court.

Phillips admitted sending the message, but said he had not intended committing a sexual offence.

The court found that the mere sending of the message with a sexual undertone was a criminal offence.

The magistrate said Phillips’ actions were of a sexual nature and that made him guilty of the offence he was charged with.

“The NPA welcomes this sentence,” Ntabazalila said.