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Bugger denied - Faces five years in the slammer

Published:Wednesday | January 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

THE COURT of Appeal, in throwing out the appeal of a 39-year-old male teacher who sexually molested a 13-year-old schoolboy, last week described his behaviour as most disgusting.

The appellant, Mark Beckford, of Black River, St Elizabeth, is to serve his five-year prison sentence for two counts of buggery.

Beckford lured the boy to his home in Greater Portmore, St Catherine, in 2003, by telling him that he had a Game Boy, a video-game console, and money for a person named 'Errol', giving the impression that they were for the boy's father who was also called Errol.

When the boy went to Beckford's home, he was sexually molested. Beckford ordered the boy to come to his house three days each week and threatened to hurt his family if he told anyone.

Concurrent sentence

The boy's father saw him with a bank card and money in 2005 and questioned him about them. As a result of certain revelations, the dad and other residents went to Beckford's house in Greater Portmore. Beckford was held and taken to the police station.

A jury convicted him in December 2006 of two counts of buggery. Supreme Court judge Ingrid Mangatal sentenced Beckford to five years' imprisonment on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently. In dismissing his appeal, the court ordered that his sentences must commence from March 13, 2007.

Beckford appealed on the grounds that the judge erred in her summation to the jury, but the Court of Appeal, comprising the president, Justice Seymour Panton, Justice Mahadev Dukharan and Justice Hilary Phillips, ruled there was ample evidence to support the convictions and that the judges' directions were both adequate and accurate.