‘Well-regarded’ man is jailed after abusing a teenage girl

A TUTOR with his ‘reputation in ruins’ was jailed for sexual activity with a teenage girl on Friday.

Duncan Hanner, 53, of Caspian Close, Fishbourne, was sentenced to 15 months and prohibited from unsupervised teaching of under 16 year olds.

He was found guilty in August of six counts of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16.

“Young girls must be free from harmful influences like yours while they mature,” Hanner was told by Judge Robert Fraser at Chichester Crown Court.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was aged 13 or 14 at the time of the offences, between 2008 and 2010.

Richard Hearnden, prosecuting, said: “Even though she was a child, she still feels guilty herself and upset because she couldn’t say anything at the time about the abuse.”

“It was that vulnerability you took advantage of,” Judge Fraser told Hanner during sentencing, adding he had ‘abused trust’ the victim placed in him.

At the August trial, the jury watched the victim’s police interview, after she reported the offences in May, 2012.

She said she had ‘nightmares’ over a long period of time.

“I’ve not had one nice dream in five years,” she said.

She described Hanner’s hands as ‘rough and cold and unwelcome’.

Defending, Victoria Maude said Hanner was ‘a man of previously good character’.

“He’s well-regarded within his community of Fishbourne,” she said.

A number of supporters attended court in support of Hanner, which Miss Maude said included professional colleagues, friends, family and neighbours.

Judge Fraser said he noted Hanner’s previous good character.

“They clearly know a better side to you,” he said.

However, he said Hanner’s reputation was still in ruins.

“Clearly there’s only one sentence and that’s immediate custody,” he said.

Hanner received a 15-month prison sentence for each of the offences, which he will serve simultaneously.

Judge Fraser added he would be released after serving half the sentence.

Hanner, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, was also banned from unsupervised teaching of under 16 year olds, made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order and put on the sex offenders’ register.