Teacher struck off after sexual activity with teenage girl

General View of the Crown court in Aylesbury, Bucks SP20111221_SP2_6499.JPG

General View of the Crown court in Aylesbury, Bucks SP20111221_SP2_6499.JPG

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A school science technician who engaged in sexual activity with a teenage girl has been struck off.

Benjamin Hannen, was found guilty of sexual activity with a female aged 13 to 17 in 2013 at Aylesbury Crown Court.

He was sentenced to a community order for three years (with a supervision and programme requirement), listed on the sex offenders register for five years and ordered to pay costs of £3,500.

His defence was that he had no intention to break the law and was unaware that in his role as a science technician he was bound by the same legal requirements as a teaching member of staff.

Prior to the conviction he was suspended from the school he was teaching at (which has not been named for legal reasons) in 2012 and later resigned.

Earlier this month the National College of Teaching and Leadership reviewed Hannen’s fitness to work in a school environment.

A report of their findings read: “These behaviours include serious sexual misconduct.

“In this context the panel noted that the sentencing judge took into account the fact that Mr Hannen’s behaviour, ‘went no further than kissing’.

“The judge also described Mr Hannen’s conduct as being, ‘within the lowest bracket of the sentencing guidelines’.

“The court imposed a community order rather than a custodial sentence. In the spectrum of cases that come before the National College the panel is of the view that this case has none of the characterstics of serious sexual misconduct with which it sometimes has to deal.

“As referred to above, Mr Hannen has fully engaged with the Thames Valley Sex Offender programme and has demonstrated insight into his actions that led to the conviction.

“The panel considers that Mr Hannen’s expressions of regret are genuine. The panel further took into account the detailed assessment of risk of repetition conducted by the National Offender Management Service.

“That assessment classified the risk as low and made no recommendations for ‘additional ongoing risk management.’

“The panel felt the findings indicated a situation in which a review period would be appropriate. As such, it decided that it would be proportionate in all the circumstances to recommend that Mr Hannen be allowed to apply for a review after a period of two years.”