A school support worker has been jailed for eight years for sexual offences committed on a teenage girl.

Andrew Roger Williams was told his actions had left his victim feeling like she had lost a large part of her childhood.

Judge Keith Cutler said Williams had shown “selfish, predatory and wholly wrong behaviour” while his victim had been “brave and dignified”.

The 53-year-old defendant previously admitted offences of rape, sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust and two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity by a person in a position of trust.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard the offences took place more than 10 years ago after the defendant, of Cologne Road, Bovington, groomed the girl when she was a teenager.

Prosecuting, Helen Easterbrook said Williams had been working as a member of the liaison team at a Dorset school when he met the victim.

Ms Easterbrook said concerns were raised about the defendant’s interactions with the girl.

He was written to and formally warned about his conduct, but his behaviour did not change, the prosecutor said.

The court heard Williams had no previous convictions. Ms Easterbrook said he would not have been able to work in the role he did without being of good character at the time.

The prosecutor detailed the offences in court, which the complainant disclosed to a friend a couple of years ago.

Ms Easterbrook read a statement from the victim which said she had found it “found it extremely hard to put myself first” since the offences.

The statement said the defendant “took many years from me as a teenage girl”.

Bournemouth Echo:

Mitigating, Charles Gabb said the pre-sentence report by the Probation Service and references submitted about his client allowed the court to have a more complete assessment of the defendant.

He said Williams had been able to help people positively but added “there was a dark side to his existence”.

The defendant had showed a “real weakness in his character” and he was “going to pay the costs” of that, Mr Gabb said.

Williams was jailed for eight years at the hearing on Friday, June 23. He was placed on the sex offenders register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely.

Dorset Police said it did not hold a custody image of the defendant.