Nfld. & Labrador

'Danger to society': Repeat offender sentenced for exposing himself at dance studio

A man a provincial court judge in St. John's called a "danger to society" has been sentenced to just over two years in prison.

Society must be protected from Matthew Twyne, says Judge Michael Madden

Repeat sexual offender Matthew Twyne was sentenced Friday for exposing himself and breaching court orders. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

A man who exposed himself to teenagers at a St. John's dance studio is a "danger to society" and will spend just over two years in jail, a provincial court judge ruled Friday. 

According to information presented to court, Matthew Twyne went to Jill Dreaddy Danceco on Lemarchant Road in St. John's on the evening of May 17 and was caught pressing his penis against a window to a change room with girls aged 14-16 inside.

The dance instructor who saw Twyne told him to leave. He came back about 15 minutes later, and was told to leave again, then came back a third time. Each time he exposed himself, court was told.

The police were called. The instructor had recorded video of Twyne on her phone, and he was arrested.

The Jill Dreaddy Danceco where Twyne exposed himself to girls 14-16 years old. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

Twyne, 31, has five previous convictions for indecent exposure, and was under court orders not to drink, do drugs, or carry a weapon, and to remain away from children.

On the night he went to the dance studio, he had been drinking, was caught with a small amount of marijuana, and had a hunting knife.

Twyne is already on the sex offender registry for life, and has breached a court order to get sex-offender counselling.

"It's difficult to imagine how he could have more deliberately disobeyed court orders," Judge Michael Madden said during sentencing Friday. 

Deliberately targeted children

Madden also said that Twyne "is a poor candidate for rehabilitation, if not impossible."

Judge Michael Madden said it would be difficult, if not impossible to rehabilitate Twyne. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

Madden noted that there is a daycare in the same building that houses the dance school.

"The public must be protected from him," he said.

"He was there specifically to commit an indecent act because children were there ... He has little insight into his behaviour."

Guilty plea avoids trial

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Lundrigan had asked that Twyne be sentenced to just under three years. His lawyer, Daniel Fury asked for 18 months.

Judge Madden sided with the Crown, and arrived at two years and two months after giving Twyne credit for time served.

Madden did say that it was to Twyne's credit that he pleaded guilty and "saved the children involved the ordeal of a trial."

When Twyne gets out of prison, he is banned for 10 years from being in parks, public swimming areas, playgrounds, schools or other locations where children under 16 are known to be present.

He is also not allowed to work or volunteer where he would be in a position of trust over someone under 16. 

About the Author

Glenn Payette


A veteran journalist with more than 30 years' experience, Glenn Payette is a videojournalist with CBC News in St. John's.