A teaching assistant who had sex with a 14-year-old pupil in a parking lot was jailed for six years today. Hannah Harris, 23, tricked the teenager's parents into believing he was seeing a girl of the same age, by pretending to be her mother.
Harris denied four charges of sexual activity with a child in December 2019 and January 2020. However, she was convicted by a jury majority of 10 to 2 of having sex with the boy in her Mercedes A200 in a supermarket car park in Dunstable â a town 30 miles north of London.
Judge Caroline Wigin jailed Harris for six years on Wednesday, adding that she would be placed on the sex offenders register "indefinitely." Harris was caught in January 2020 after the boy's older brother found out about their sexual relationship.
Instagram DMs, Explicit Photos Led to Sexual Encounter
When questioned by the police, she said the first contact was initiated when he sent her an Instagram message. She said she stupidly replied and communication continued until she agreed to meet him outside school hours. Harris and the boy also exchanged nude images of each other on Snapchat. On her phone the police found that 'Teacher-Pupil sex' searches had been carried out.
The teaching assistant and the boy also exchanged social media messages and met up outside of school, which included her driving him to supermarkets "to buy him his favourite sweets," taking him to McDonald's and letting him smoke cannabis in her car. She was previously warned at least twice by a fellow staff member about "inappropriate conversations" and flirtatious behavior, an incident of "play fighting" with the pupil.
Harris Tricked Victim's Parents into Believing He was Seeing Someone His Own Age
Harris, who was employed at a school in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, reached out to the boy's parents, claiming to be "Olivia." She told them she lived in Baldock with her daughter Kayla, who was their son's girlfriend.
"Seems Kayla and [the boy] are getting on well, so I am happy to ferry them around," she wrote in one of the text messages to the parents. The boy later admitted "Olivia" and "Kayla" were fictional.
"The names Kayla and Olivia were fictions to hide the fact they were meeting up," Prosecutor Simon Wilshire told St Albans Crown Court. "The parents were in fact talking to Ms Harris as that was the number they had been given for Olivia."
"When the parents became aware, they realised they had unwittingly facilitated the contact," Wilshere added. "They had been duped by the boy into the belief he was seeing someone of his own age."