A TEACHER and North Yorkshire town clerk has been jailed for 17 years for raping and indecently assaulting one of his pupils.

James Andrew Husband, 68, of Wigginton, York, is the fifth teacher from leading independent school Christ’s Hospital School to be convicted of sexually abusing students. Between them, they committed crimes against 22 victims over more than 30 years.

Husband, a history teacher and former town clerk of Pickering Town Council, was convicted of one charge of rape and five of indecent assault, all committed over a three-year period, starting when the victim was 14 years old. Husband had denied all charges.

In a personal statement, the victim told Hove Crown Court Husband had groomed and moulded her into his “plaything” and “puppet” so “he could do what he wanted to me”.

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.”

The abuse had cost her a place at Cambridge University and left her with a “life sentence” of anorexia, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Husband used and abused his position of trust in the worst possible way and then tried to claim his sickening behaviour was nothing more than consensual sex. “His jailing today will hopefully give some sort of closure to his victim and at the same time encourage other people in a similar position to come forward and report what has happened to them.”

Judge Christine Henson QC told Husband: “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 viewed you as a father figure, thus rendering the abuse of trust particularly acute.”

Husband was jailed for 17 years, put on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from working with children.

His barrister Charlotte Newell 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.”

She added: “The shame will live with him emotionally and socially for life.”

After Husband’s conviction, a statement from Pickering Town Council said it is taking legal advice and procedural advice from the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations and the National Association of Local Councils.

“All necessary measures are in place and we will continue to keep the situation under constant review,” it said. No further statement has yet been issued following the sentence hearing.

Husband went to Lady Lumley’s School in Pickering before getting a first class honours degree from the University of London.

Sussex Police began investigating staff at Christ’s Hospital in 2016.