An optician who performed a sex act while giving a vision test to a 14-year-old girl was jailed for 21 months today.John Gill, 36, was convicted last year after a jury heard he masturbated at the Clear Vision opticians, in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, when the girl went to collect some contact lenses.He told the teenager she would need a field vision test to check the lenses were correct and it was while she was having this exam that she saw Gill with his hand down his trousers.The youngster then became aware of heavy breathing but carried on with the test.She was entitled to be protected by you and not subjected to the behaviour that you indulged in.'Judge Grant said: 'I've come to the conclusion that the only proper sentence in your case is one of immediate imprisonment.'Bespectacled Gill, who stood in the dock wearing a suit and tie, showed no emotion as 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 last year heard that Gill took the girl into a back room of his store when she went to collect her contact lenses on August 7, 2008.Michael Smith, prosecuting, told the court the youngster arrived at the opticians, where Gill worked with his wife, to find him alone.
Sentencing him today, Judge Grant said: '(The offence) is a serious matter.
The court heard that Gill's reputation had been 'destroyed' and the impact on his business, which he had worked hard to build up successfully, had been 'catastrophic'.
Mr Elvidge also said the conviction had caused difficulties in the optician's marriage, although there had since been 'some reconciliation' with his wife and he was able to have contact with his son.
“He took her into a back room and did a field test on her,” Mr Smith said.
It was while she had her head inserted in the device during this exam that she became aware of something unusual about Gill’s behaviour, who was standing off to the side of her.