Teacher from East Sussex jailed for child sex offences

A teenager tearfully faced down her former teacher in court to tell him the devastating effect of his crimes as he was jailed for sexually abusing her at school.

Paul Danby, 35, who lives in St Leonards, had told the underage girl to refer to him as ‘Mr Danby’ or ‘Sir’ while he molested her at a school in London, the court heard.

Paul Danby. Picture supplied by SWNS SUS-191211-114005001

Paul Danby. Picture supplied by SWNS SUS-191211-114005001

The former pupil branded Danby a ‘disgusting predator’ as she insisted on reading her victim impact statement to him personally at Isleworth Crown Court.

She added: “I just wanted to say I hope you understand the impact of what you’ve done.”

Judge Hannah Duncan said she accepted Danby was remorseful before jailing him for four-and-a-half years.

She also issued a 10-year restraining order banning him from contacting his victim, and said a sexual harm prevention order would be made against him at a further hearing at the court later this month.

The victim, reading her victim impact statement in person to the court, said: “I was a vulnerable child that was completely taken advantage of.”

She added: “He made me think that it was our special secret and I’ve lost connection with everybody from my secondary school.

“When I did finally realise what happened to me I was 16, I became depressed, I had constant suicidal thoughts, self harm and body dysmorphia.

“This should have been a happy time in my life but was filled with disappointment and loathing and felt I was disappointing my parents for not being able to do what normal 16-year-olds do and achieve their potential.

“The stress and daily flashbacks often stop me from sleeping and cause me to have anxiety attacks and nightmares.

“When I’m in public and see someone who looks like him I feel nauseous.

“I carried on education because I realised I couldn’t let one disgusting predator ruin my life and prospects. I’m destroyed emotionally and it’s a daily struggle for me and when I talk about it I can’t stop crying.”

Danby had no previous convictions.

He pleaded guilty to his crimes at the court on October 21 this year.

He made no comment as he was jailed for four-and-a-half years for sexual activity with a child.

He was also given six, nine and 27 months for three counts of sexual activity with a child. And another 12 and 27 months for two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Jailing him, Judge Hannah Duncan added: “You spent increasing amounts of time with her, initially to help her and later on in my judgement under the pretence of helping her.

“Slowly, step by step, she trusted you and the lines between teacher and pupil blurred and your relationship began to progress which was at first entirely inappropriate to what was later criminal.

“It was not marked by force or violence – you didn’t need to – you had groomed her.

“What you’ve pleaded guilty was not a momentary lapse of judgement: it was a ongoing course of deliberate, manipulative and cynical conduct. Over months you engineered situations where you could be alone with her.

“Emotionally she has been scarred.”

Rakesh Bhasin, in mitigation, said: “As the adult he is entirely responsible for what transpired. In his own words this was the greatest mistake of his life and he fully understands the harm he has caused her and wishes to apologise for that.”