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Hertfordshire News: Teaching assistant had sex with 14-year-old boy in Wilko car park | United Kingdom | News UK News

Hannah Harris, now 23, tricked the teenager’s parents into thinking he was seeing a girl the same age while posing as her mother, a court has heard. Harris worked at a school in Hertfordshire.

She told the 14-year-old’s parents that she was living with her daughter who was their son’s fictional girlfriend, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Harris claimed to be Olivia and to live with daughter Kayla, the fictional girlfriend.

In a text, Harris wrote: “It seems that Kayla and [the boy] get along well, so I’m happy to carry them.”

Prosecutor Simon Wilshire told the court: “Both parents believed they had spoken to Olivia on the phone and her mum had been texting.

Hannah Harris

Hannah Harris Tricked A Boy’s Parents Into Thinking He Was Seeing A Girl The Same Age (Picture: Facebook)

Hannah Harris

St Alban Crown Court heard Harris was warned by a member of staff for ‘inappropriate’ behavior (Image: South Beds News)

“The names Kayla and Olivia were fictionalized to hide the fact that they were meeting. The parents were actually speaking to Mrs. Harris as that was the number given to them for Olivia.”

St Alban Crown Court also heard that Harris had been warned at least twice by a staff member about ‘inappropriate conversations’ and flirtatious behaviour, including an incident of ‘playing fight’ with a pupil .

She was arrested in January 2020 when the boy’s older brother found out. The youngster admitted that Olivia and Kayla were wearing makeup.

Mr Wilshire said: “When the parents became aware, they realized they had unwittingly facilitated contact.


Hannah Harris

Harris broke down in tears during sentencing on Wednesday (Image: Corporate News and Pictures/Facebook)


Harris was convicted at St Albans Crown Court (Picture: PA)

“They had been tricked by the boy into thinking he was seeing someone his own age.”

He added: “As a teaching assistant at his school, she would have known his age – such activity is a criminal offense whether he believes himself to be a consenting party or not.”

In a victim impact statement, the boy said Harris’ defense case that he raped her “made him feel dirty”, the court heard.

He said the teenager had been unable to concentrate on his studies and was taking medication for anxiety and depression.

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Harris was cleared of three other charges (Image: Corporate News and Images)

Harris, from Bedfordshire, denied four charges of sexual activity with a child in December 2019 and January 2020.

She was found guilty by a 10 to 2 majority jury of having sex with the boy in his car in a Wilko parking lot.

The jurors cleared her of three other charges of sexual activity with the youngster, which allegedly took place twice in a duvet and once in her home.

Mr Wilshire said Harris showed no remorse for the offense when questioned by a probation officer for a pre-sentence report.

She was first employed in 2018 in the school’s IT department before becoming a teaching assistant in 2019.

When questioned by police, she said the first contact happened when the student messaged her on Instagram.


Harris, of Harrier Mill, Henlow, Bedfordshire, has denied four charges of sexual activity with a child (Image: Corporate News and Images)

She said she answered stupidly and the communication continued until she agreed to meet him outside of school hours.

Julia Flanagan, defending, said: “She was convicted of sexual activity on one occasion only.

“She regretted letting the relationship develop, meeting him outside of school and cheating on her parents.

“She shouldn’t have let [the] relationship is growing and for that she apologizes.”

Ms Flanagan said Harris had no previous convictions. She added that character references portrayed her as kind, polite and respectful.

Judge Caroline Wigin, at sentencing, said: “He was particularly vulnerable.

“At school in November 2019, you were warned about inappropriate discussions with students. It was clear that you were someone who sought to identify with students rather than staff members.

“At the beginning of January 2020, a friend warned you that they were saying that you were imagining [the boy]. You told her it wasn’t true

“On January 10, you were tipped off by a member of staff who observed you and a student acting like you were a teenage couple and flirting. You were playing fight.

“You ignored all the warnings you had. He found you attractive and sent you messages [via] social networks. You knew such messages should have been reported to senior management.

“Having heard back from you, he was excited to pursue what he saw as a relationship.

“You groomed him. You took him in your car on trips, took him to the supermarket, bought him his favorite sweets, bought him ice cream and took him to McDonald’s. You smoked cannabis he bought in your car.”

The judge told Harris when his complaint was made to the school that he had raped her, it had a devastating effect on him.

Before sentencing on Wednesday, Ms Flanagan argued that the messages and trips were not specifically intended to facilitate a sexual relationship with the boy.

Judge Wigin intervened, saying it was ‘totally inappropriate’ to enter into a relationship of any kind, before adding that Harris would have been aware of this through his training.

She added, “She chose to ignore that. She chose to abuse that trust.”

Harris must register as a sex offender for life and is prohibited from working with children.

Last month, her father, Jason, defended his daughter, insisting the family would not abandon her.

He told The Sun: “I don’t believe what came out in court. She shouldn’t have done this job. She was too young.

“She was in this job because she wanted to help people, that’s what she does, she helps people.

“She’s very, very nice. Everyone she’s worked for before and still works for speaks highly of her.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-09 22:44:00

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