The Court of Appeal has affirmed the 12 years of rigorous imprisonment imposed by the High Court against an English tuition master for committing grave sexual abuse to a 10-year-old boy on three occasions.

On May 20, 2022, the Embilipitiya High Court sentenced the accused to 12 years of rigorous imprisonment while awarding Rs. 200,000 compensation to the victim after the accused was found guilty of committing grave sexual abuse to an underage boy punishable in terms of Section 365B (2) (b) of the Penal Code between April 1, 2010 and January 31, 2011.

The victim of these incidents had been a 10-year-old boy, and he had given evidence for the first time in the High Court in January 2021 as a 20-year-old youth.

According to the victim’s evidence, the accused has conducted English tuition classes. The witness has stated that the accused used to give small sums of money, like Rs. 20 or Rs. 50, after sexually abusing him. Although the victim was subjected to sexual abuse on several occasions, he has not divulged these incidents to his parents. However,he has refused to attend the class of the particular teacher concerned. As a result, his parents have admitted him to another English class.

Sometime after the alleged incidents, there had been an educational programme conducted by the teachers of the school where the victim was studying at the time. At the end of the programme, the victim informs his class teacher that he was subjected to sexual assault. The teacher has referred him to the disciplinary master of the school and, through the principal of the school, to the police.

In his judgement, Justice Sampath Abayakoon observed that if it were not for the awareness programme, these incidents of sexual abuse may not have come to light, and the child would have been subjected to mental trauma in silence.


The victim child in his evidence has clearly stated that the three sexual abuse incidents faced by him happened during a period of about two weeks apart, and he refused to attend the tuition class afterwards. But he did not inform his parents because the accused had told him not to tell anyone and had given him money in some instances.


However, the accused denied that he committed any grave sexual abuse of the victim child. He has claimed that he received a complaint that the victim had taken money from the till of another child. He further claimed that he questioned the victim in that regard in front of the other children and checked his trouser pockets.

The Court of Appeal’s two-judge bench, comprising Justices Sampath Abayakoon and P. Kumararatnam, held that they found no reason to interfere with the conclusions of the High Court Judge and the conviction entered upon the accused based on sound reasoning.