August 30, 2013 - 8:12 AM
"I WON'T BE SEEING HER AGAIN IN THE FUTURE
KAMLOOPS - A former Kamloops school bus driver was handed a conditional sentence for breaching a no-contact order after he had an 'inappropriate relationship' with a 15-year-old girl.
Mervin George Hanson, 61, was sentenced today in Kamloops provincial court to a 30-day conditional sentence and one year probation for one count of disobeying a court order.
Hanson was ordered by the courts to stay away from a girl who he had become close with on his bus route.
The Crown said Hanson initiated an electronic conversation with the girl — whose name has been protected by a court order — in May.
"She indicated to him that she didn't think it was appropriate she have any contact with him," said Crown prosecutor Tim Livingston.
Hanson was a school bus driver in School District 73 until 2012 after an internal investigation uncovered the relationship between them.
"It was not alleged it was a sexual relationship," Livingston said.
Livingston offered up a joint submission along with defence lawyer Don Campbell.
Campbell said Hanson had bad judgement after a family-fueled drinking episode and noted that Hanson had called in his own breach.
"He's sober, thinking clearly, he's moved on and is quite clear about the costs of not complying with court orders," Campbell said.
Hanson apologized to the court and said he is also undergoing counselling.
"I won't be seeing her again in the future," he said. "I realize what I've done now is basically wrong."
"At the time, in my mental state, I had no understanding."
Judge Hermann Rohrmoser agreed to the joint submission.
"The Crown isn't saying that there was actual sexual misconduct," Rohrmoser said. "But the fact that you're a man in your 60s and the girl was 15, and you got to know her while she was in a (vulnerable) position… that concerns the Crown and society quite a lot."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013