HE used his status as a local musician to meet, manipulate, groom and then rape girls as young as 12.
And by the time he was done, Daniel "Jimmy" Hanson had sexually abused more than a dozen young girls, a number of child victims usually only seen in insidious cases of institutional sexual abuse.
On Thursday, Hanson, now 34, who styled himself as "Jimmy Beloved", the former frontman of Newcastle screamo/electronica band Falling for Beloved, was jailed for a maximum of 28 years, with a non-parole period of 21 years.
He will be eligible for parole in 2040, at the age of 53.
The former lead singer and now convicted serial sex offender, who appeared in court on Thursday via audio visual link from Cessnock Correctional Centre, hung his head while Judge Penny Hock detailed his many crimes and difficult upbringing. But he showed no emotion when the sentence was delivered.
He had pleaded guilty to 23 counts of sexual and indecent assault against 14 girls aged between 12 and 22 over a nine-year period.
A dozen of the girls he raped and assaulted were aged between 12 and 15, while Hanson was aged between 18 and 24.
Judge Hock said while Hanson may have been of "good character" before his relentless reign of terror, that needed to be compared to his "undetected, continuous and predatory sexual offending against the victims over a nine-year period".
"The repeated nature of the offending deprives him of any further leniency based on his character," she said.
Judge Hock praised the "courage" of the many young women for coming forward, their lives irreparably damaged by Hanson's evil crimes.
"I was the victim of sustained sexual and psychological abuse by Daniel Hanson between the ages of 14 and 15," one victim said in a victim impact statement last week. "Throughout this time I was manipulated, exploited and coerced into a relationship. He would dismiss me in public and abuse me in private. He began grooming me after a music gig and persuaded me to skip school one day where he took me to a stormwater drain and raped me in my school uniform. This began a lengthy period of abuse."
The woman said the abuse and her young age led her to drop out of school, withdraw from her friends and ultimately attempt to take her own life.
"I cannot express enough the gratitude I have for the brave women who came forward initially," she said. "I spent many years feeling that I was broken and unfixable. I have spent a long time repairing my life. He may have won the battle but he has not won the war.
"Daniel Hanson may have had a front row seat to my downfall, but today is the last day he gets to hear my story and today is the last day I identify as one of his victims."
Another victim spoke of her terror when she encountered Hanson in public, years after he abused her.
"From the age of 14 he took advantage of me mentally and physically," she said.
"As I was in my place of work in 2018, I stood there and hid from him. Everything he did to me came spiraling down and crashing all around me."
The woman said the chance encounter triggered flashbacks, panic attacks and she was unable to get the memories of the assault out of her head.
Those young women, and four others who courageously read victim impact statements in Newcastle District Court last week, outlined the impact of Hanson's many crimes.
They include insomnia, suicide attempts, homelessness, anxiety, depression, shame and guilt, as well as many other deeply ingrained issues.
"What gives any one person the right to have such a monstrous, deep rooted, negative impact on anyone else's life," one woman said.
Another woman said she allowed herself to wonder each day what life would have been like had she not met Daniel Hanson.
Hanson would typically approach underage girls at his gigs, ask for their phone number, tell them they were "the most beautiful girl in the room" and then begin a text message exchange that gradually became more graphic and sexual in nature.
He would lie about his age, always telling the girls he was also underage or years younger than he was.
In reality, from the time he was about 18 until he was 24, Hanson "showed a sexual interest in young women under the age of 16", according to an agreed statement of facts, with seven years the average age difference between Hanson and his victims.
At one stage, when Hanson was 22, he repeatedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.
After lying about his age, Hanson would shower the girls with compliments and then organise their bus and train routes so they could meet him in parks or stormwater drains near his house.
They would talk about music, the lyrics to his songs and then Hanson would sexually and indecently assault them, always telling them not to tell anyone about "their little secret".
For some girls he had a code; the word "bestie".
"Being a "bestie" was a term for doing sexual things in exchange for his friendship," one girl said. "Still to this day when I hear the word "bestie" it makes me feel sick."
On at least one occasion Hanson urged a young girl to skip school to come and see him, while another girl who wanted to interview Hanson for a school project about the band was instead sexually assaulted.
If the girls didn't comply with his sexual requests or displeased him, he would make them walk home or cut off contact.
A letter penned by Hanson was read to the court last week, in which he apologised for the "pain and humiliation" he caused the 14 women.
"The reason for my letter is to take full responsibility for my actions and behaviour," Hanson wrote. "I am extremely ashamed and embarrassed by everything that I did. There isn't a second that goes by that I don't wish to take everything back. I can at least own these terrible mistakes and hope that brings a little peace. The way that I acted and the things I did are totally unforgivable. I am extremely sorry for the pain and humiliation I've caused these women and their families. This isn't about me now and it never should have been. It took me too long to get past the 'woe is me' attitude and to understand that I am the full reason that I am here. I will use every day of my time to work on myself. Once again I am deeply sorry and I hope that my sentence can offer some sort of closure to my victims and if that is the case then that will mean more to me than any lighter sentence ever could."
Judge Hock said that based on the letter, and the fact Hanson ceased offending in 2014, five years before his arrest, that he appeared to have some insight into the seriousness of his conduct and was now remorseful.
Hanson's relentless reign of terror occurred between 2005 and 2014.
The most serious charges he admitted to were two counts of persistent sexual abuse of a child and related to two girls aged 12 and 14, who Hanson sexually abused while he was aged between 18 and 20.
Once charged with more than 100 offences after media attention triggered a flood of complaints and allegations, the DPP ultimately withdrew dozens of charges.
The women who bravely read victim impact statements shared a lot of common themes; the profound impacts of his crimes on them as well as their focus on the future.
"I feel empowered, brave and determined," one said. "I am moving forward and never taking a step backwards. "None of what you did defines who I am. I have finally found my voice. And I will not be known as a victim of your abuse but someone who put a stop to it."
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