Famous British radio producer Sandy Beech has been sentenced to five years in jail after being found guilty of molesting a child in his care. The soft sentence triggered an outcry and condemnation in online fora.
The radio producer was arrested in Paphos Airport on March 8th, 2016, to face allegations that he sexually abused his partner’s 11-year-old daughter in 2015, according to The Sun.
Beech launched the Paphos-based radio station Sunshine Radio in 2014 and worked at BBC Radio 1 for many years.
Child abuse on the rise
The sexual molestation of children is on the rise in Cyprus, more and more cases of sexual abuse are coming to the surface as the police force get special training to handle these dreadful situations, and it becomes less of a taboo for the children to speak up.
In the most recent research, one-in-four children are sexually molested in schools by teachers, according to a survey by University of Cyprus psychologist Eleni Karayianni, who carried out the research with funding from the Council of Europe and the Leventis Foundation to help stop sexual violence against children. This is higher than the EU average of one-in-five cases of molestation in teenagers.
The names of the molesters are covered up by other teachers, who do not want to expose their colleagues, according to a report by the Cyprus News Agency. Children are also afraid to report sexual harassment, and only six percent of the cases were reported.
The main research was carried out on children over the age of 15, and it’s still a matter of speculation about the rate of sexual abuse of younger children. Research is forbidden for younger children, even though they need even greater protection, but the National Bioethics Committee refused permission for this group of children to be surveyed.
The survey was conducted on 2000 participants aged 15-22 years old.
But with soft sentences like five years for the serious crime of child molestation, even if they come forward, victims may only see symbolic justice done.