April 2020

Bristol West Town Lane Primary teacher who had sex with girl, 14, is jailed

A Bristol primary school teacher who groomed and engaged in sexual intercourse with a girl aged 14 has been jailed.

Robert Hanson was 27 years old and a Year 4 teacher at West Town Lane Primary School in Brislington when the sex offences happened

After meeting the girl at a gaming fair, they chatted online before he bought her a child’s rail ticket for her to visit him overnight.

He then persuaded the child to engage in sexual intercourse with him several times, Bristol Crown Court heard. 

Hanson, now 29, of Lindsay Close in Pencoed, Bridgend, pleaded guilty to grooming and having sexual activity with a child when he was aged 27.

Judge Martin Picton jailed him for four years.

He told Hanson: “I accept your remorse.

“But you were the adult, you had the choices and you made the choices.

“Now you pay the penalty for it.”

Hanson was handed a 15-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from unchecked internet use and unsupervised contact with children aged under 16.

He was barred from working with children or vulnerable adults and ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

In a hearing via Skype due to coronavirus Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said the complainant’s mum found a blister pack for the morning after pill in the child’s bin, and the girl claimed she had sex with a boy her own age at a sleepover.

Miss Drake said: “The mother was concerned.

“She confiscated her daughter’s iPhone and she said there would be no sleepovers again.

“The mother had the passcode for that iPhone and that evening she did some impressive detective work.”

The court heard the mum saw messages exchanged between her daughter and Hanson, which included Hanson sending a photo of himself.

The mother found him on Twitter, identified him as a teacher working in Bristol, and contacted police.

Messages recovered, a month before the youngster turned 15, included the girl saying she could have gone with boys her own age but he had “probably been the best choice” for her first sexual experience.

When Hanson was arrested he admitted sex took place with her but said he hadn’t known she was aged under 16.

The girl declined to comment to police.

He mother made an impact statement saying she was shocked, sickened and scared by what happened and her child became depressed and isolated as a result.

The complainant stated she had suffered anxiety attacks, saying: “I no longer feel safe in my own skin.”