A SCHOOL staff member has been jailed after sexually touching two children with special needs.

Dorrion Etienne assaulted two girls under 18 while being employed at Kingsdown School.

The 34-year-old of Heron Close, Rayleigh, committed the crimes against the former pupils just over a year apart.

His first victim was watching a video on a computer when Etienne asked her for some help.

He then took her into a room which could only be accessed by staff, before putting her on his lap, giving her a pack of Haribo sweets before sexually touching her.

When the girl was taken home, her grandmother noticed her acting differently, and the girl confided that she had been sexually assaulted.

Jailed - Dorrion Etienne

Jailed - Dorrion Etienne

At Etienne's sentencing at Basildon Crown Court, Judge Samantha Leigh said: "You took her back to the classroom, you said words to the effect that 'if you ever want to have another chin wag let me know, if not, it can be our little secret'."

The second victim told her father that Etienne had sexually abused her in similar circumstances where he had taken her into the room, given her sweets and touched her.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, one of Etienne's victims shared how she has become afraid of men and withdrawn from her family.

"I think about it before I go to bed, and I have terrible sleep, sometimes I lay awake until the early hours of the morning.

"I get really scared when people come near me. I will tell them to get off."

Mitigating, Matthew Bagnall said that Etienne is "extremely remorseful" for his actions.

Kingsdown School in Westcliff

In a statement by Etienne read out by Mr Bagnall, he said: "No matter the sentence I am handed, it can never, ever, take back what I did to those girls.

"I wish there was a way for me to undo the pain that I did."

Judge Samantha Leigh said only immediate custody was appropriate, and jailed Etienne for two years and six months.

Laurie Burton, councillor responsible for children and learning at Southend Council, said: "Since the first allegation was made, we have taken a full and active role throughout the police investigation and supported the school from a safeguarding perspective.

"All correct processes and procedures were immediately followed for the safety of students, staff and wider school community, which led to the immediate suspension and ultimate dismissal of this member of staff.

"We are conscious that this information might cause concern and we want to reassure parents and staff that the safety and wellbeing of pupils and staff remain our collective priority.

"Anyone who is affected by this news can contact police on 101, NSPCC on 0808 800 500 or the Council’s MASH Team, on 01702 215007."

We would like to remind readers that victims of sexual offences are given automatic anonymity for life, and would caution anyone making any public comments on this story ensure they do not post anything that could lead to the identification of any victims.