A former Frankley Community High School teacher has today been jailed for 7 years for his part in the repeated sexual abuse of a teenage girl from Birmingham, described in court as “vulnerable”.
William Hanna, 63 was sentenced alongside Dianne Whitehouse, 58, and Ian McGlasson, 47 at Birmingham Crown Court today.
A jury heard how Hanna, who lives in Acocks Green and Whitehouse, from Cannock, together repeatedly sexually assaulted the 15-year-old over a six month period in 2010. Some of the abuse was broadcast live online.
The teenager met the three offenders on internet chat rooms, unaware of the depraved abuse she would be subjected to. Hanna and Whitehouse assaulted the girl together at hotels in Birmingham city centre. Neither of them knew McGlasson, who committed the offences at his Stratford-upon-Avon home.
The girl’s parents raised concerns and she later told details of the “horrific” crimes to specially trained police officers.
A complicated investigation was carried out by police, who had very little detail to go on. Online investigations led police to McGlasson first, who was arrested in June in his Stafford home.
Several months later, after painstaking examination of thousands of internet records by officers, Hanna and Whitehouse were identified and arrested.
During the trial, Hanna and Whitehouse claimed that they had believed that the teen was 18 years old.
William Hanna was suspended from his teaching job at Frankley Community High School as soon as investigations identified him. He was sacked after police charged him.
West Midlands Police said that the victim of this horrific abuse was not a pupil of Frankley Community High School and that there was no evidence to suggest that pupils were ever at risk.
Hanna was convicted of four out of six charges he faced – three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count causing/inciting involvement in pornography. He was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison and given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). He will have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Whitehouse was found guilty of three out of five charges. McGlasson admitted 10 of the 13 charges against him on the second day of a separate trial that took place earlier this year.
Inspector Sally Simpson, who led the investigation, said: “This was a vulnerable young girl who had no idea what she was getting herself into.
“Tragically, because of her age and the fact she had been on internet chat rooms, she felt she could somehow be to blame for what happened to her.
“I’m pleased with the sentences given today and hope it offers some closure for the victim who can now try to move forward and put this terrible experience behind her.”
And Inspector Simpson offered reassurance to any other young people worried about sexual abuse: “I hope this case highlights to other young people that action can be taken and it doesn’t matter how much trouble you think you’ve got yourself into, the police will listen to you and take you seriously.”
“A range of measures are in place to protect anyone who comes forward and speaks to police, in this case the same specially trained officer supported the victim throughout the three year criminal justice process. We also have close relationships with specialist agencies that can provide further support.” she added.