Published: 05:00, 20 June 2022
| Updated: 14:16, 20 June 2022
A teaching assistant, who preyed on a child to satisfy a perverted curiosity, has avoided going to prison.
Daniel Abraham admitted sexually assaulting the girl while working at a school in Sittingbourne.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that the offences took place more than five years ago and had left the victim so traumatised she discarded all of her school photographs.
It was only when the 35-year-old was dismissed for a separate incident she told her family.
Prosecutor Daniel Stevenson said Abraham had undergone training aimed at safeguarding pupils - but was seen putting his arms around a child.
He said Abraham was reported to the authorities after he was seen staring at children while they were changing and he was suspended and then sacked.
The prosecutor said it was later that the victim spoke to her mother and disclosed what had happened to her.
Abraham, of Lawrence Street, Gillingham, was arrested in November 2020 but initially denied the allegations or having a sexual interest in children, despite an interest in teenage pornography.
The victim later told police in a statement: "After what he did I was scared of going to school, scared of him. I have thrown away every photograph of that time because I can't look at them.
"I feel I have lost a part of my childhood. I want him to regret what he has done to me."
Her mother told the judge in a written statement how hearing details of what he had done "was heartbreaking".
Defence barrister Craig Evans said: "He looks back with disgust and sincere regret for his actions and the impact it had on his victim and her family.
"After what he did I was scared of going to school, scared of him..."
"He struggles to come to terms with what led to this offending. In satisfying his own curiosity he has caused unnecessary harm and distress to others."
Abraham was given a 21 month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to undergo treatment to deal with his sex offending.
He sat with his head bowed, as the judge ordered him to do 120 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Abraham, who had admitted two sex offences, is now banned from ever working with children in the future and has to sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
Judge Julian Smith said he he been repeatedly warned about his behaviour around children but decided to carry out acts "that satisfied his sexual interest".
As he left the dock, a supporter of the victim's family made a threat against him and was warned by a member of court staff.