History teacher James Husband who taught at a prestigious private school has been jailed for 17 years for raping a teenage pupil.
A court heard Husband’s victim, who saw her abuser as a “mentor and father figure”, suffered a “life sentence” of suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
Before raping her, Husband, from Wiggington in York, told the 16-year-old: “It’s OK, I’ve had a vasectomy.”
Last week he was convicted of one count of rape as well as five counts of indecently assaulting a girl as young as 14 while teaching at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham between 1990 and 1993.
Husband is the fifth teacher at the school to be convicted of sexually abusing students over a period spanning more than 30 years and involving 22 victims.
A victim impact statement was read at Hove Crown Court in which the woman said Husband moulded her into his “plaything” and “puppet” so “he could do what he wanted to me”.
“The grooming process was devious and malignant by making me feel special for the first time in my life, I became dependant on him for my own feeling of self-worth,” she said.
“He twisted my mind to abuse my body and made my body feel dirty and degraded until I believed this to be true.”
She said the abuse had left her with a “life sentence” of anorexia, suicidal thoughts and self-harm, with the prosecution bringing back flashbacks that were “unbearable”.
Eloise Marshall, prosecuting, said Husband’s victim was “a great pupil capable of achieving great things”.
She added: “He lifted her out of the ordinary, giving him the opportunity to sexually assault her.”
Placing Husband on the sex offenders register for life and banning him from working with children, judge Christine Henson QC said that the victim had given “harrowing” evidence in the trial.
“You put yourself in the position of her mentor in order to make her feel special and dependent on you so you could do what you wanted sexually with her,” she told Husband.
“She viewed you as a father figure, thus rendering the abuse of trust particularly acute,” she added.
Charlotte Newell, defending, said: “He was a great teacher, inspirational to very many students who he taught over very many years, he inspired many students to aim high in their academic aspirations.”
Husband’s co-defendant Gary Dobbie, who was convicted of abusing eight children as young as 12 over three years up to 2001, is to be sentenced at a later date.
During the course of the trial two more former students came forward with allegations which are being investigated.