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teaching assistant jailed

Teaching assistant jailed for sex with 14 year old

The 23-year-old woman was working as a teaching assistant at a school in Hertfordshire when she met the boy.

Hannah Harris, from Henlow in Bedfordshire has been sentenced to six years imprisonment after being found guilty of having sexual activity with a 14-year-old boy.

Harris pretended to be the mother of a pupil in order to see the teenage boy. Starting an inappropriate relationship with him over the course of several months.

She made contact with his parents under the guise of her ‘daughter’ meeting up with their son, as a means of arranging dates and pick up points.

Suspicions were raised when the older brotherfound out, the victim then told his parents of what was going on and they made contact with the school. Harris was suspended and a criminal investigation was launched.

Harris was arrested and questioned on 24 January 2020. She denied what happened and was later released with strict bail conditions. She was subsequently charged with two counts of sexual activity with a child aged under 16, and one count of possession of a Category C indecent image.

She was convicted at St Albans Crown Court on Monday 7 February 2022 for sexual activity with a child aged under 16, ahead of sentencing (Wednesday 9 March), where she was handed a six year prison sentence.

She will also be a registered sex offender indefinitely.

Detective Constable Liam Hanrahan, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a long and extensive investigation, with Harris initially being arrested back in early 2020. Harris initiated a sexual relationship with the pupil, who was 14 years old at the time, which continued for several months.

“When suspicions were raised, she continued to fabricate stories and manipulate the victim into lying about the circumstances of what was going on. She employed several tactics in her attempt to hide the relationship, including using aliases on her phone to contact both the victim and his parents.

“She pretended to be the parent of a fictional child in the victim’s year group, manipulating his unknowing parents into facilitating her inappropriate meetings with the victim. Her behaviour was entirely inappropriate, and clearly breached the position of trust and responsibility she held as a teaching assistant at the time. She clearly would have known his age and knew that she was committing a criminal offence.

“I hope she uses her time in prison to reflect on her behaviour, and the impact that it will undoubtedly have on her victim. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of any form of sexual abuse to report it to police. Please be assured that we will always treat you with the utmost sensitivity and respect.”

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