Teaching Assistant Jailed For Sleeping With 14-Year-Old Student In Store Parking Lot

A teaching assistant was left in tears after being sentenced to six years in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old student in a store parking lot. Hannah Harris, 23, was employed at a school in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire in the UK and posed as the boy’s girlfriend’s mother in order to hide her crime, The Sun reports.

  1. Harris was found guilty of sexual activity with a child. While she denied all charges against her, Harris was still found guilty and sentenced to jail. Her father, Jason, previously claimed “she just wanted to help” when she was hired at the school in 2018.
  2. She was extremely underhanded in her crime. Harris is said to have posed as the victim’s fictional girlfriend’s mother to talk to his parents so that she could take him to a car park to have sex. She claimed her name was Olivia and that she lived in Baldock.
  3. She went to great lengths to conceal her relationship with the boy. In one text to the victim’s parents, she wrote: “Seems [fictional girlfriend] Kayla and [the boy] are getting on well, so I am happy to ferry them around.”
  4. She was eventually caught by the victim’s older brother. In January 2020, he discovered what was going on with the 14-year-old and confronted him, at which point he admitted that “Olivia” and “Kayla” were made up. Harris was later charged with four counts of sexual activity with a child in December 2019 and January 2020.
  5. She wasn’t found guilty of all charges against her. Harris was acquitted of three of the four charges against her, two of which were said to have taken place on Dunstable Downs and the other at her home. However, there was no proof of these liaisons and she could not be convicted.
  6. The victim’s parents were devastated when they discovered the truth. Prosecutor Simon Wilshire told St. Albans Crown Court at sentencing: “Both parents believed they had spoken to Olivia on the phone and his mum had exchanged texts. When the parents became aware, they realized they had unwittingly facilitated the contact. They had been duped by the boy into the belief he was seeing someone of his own age.” Wilshire went on to say that Harris clearly knew the boy’s age and that what she was doing was a criminal offense.
  7. The judge took no pity on Harris. During sentencing, Judge Caroline Wigin told Harris: “Your conduct has had a devastating effect upon the life of that young man.” She added that Harris’s behavior “constituted grooming” and involved “significant planning.” She also admonished Harris for disregarding “all the warnings that you had.” Harris is said to have sobbed upon hearing her sentence.

Harris will spend the first three years of her sentence behind bars and the final three on probation. She will also be placed on the sex offenders registry “indefinitely.”

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