A FORMER holiday park entertainer and photographer has been jailed following sickening sexual assaults on a girl with learning disabilities.
Tim Hankins, who also went by the stage surname Masters, had offered to look after the vulnerable girl at weekends to give her parents some respite.
But the 53-year-old was secretly abusing the girl from the age of 11 until she disclosed the abuse to a teacher at her school.
Four-times-married Hankins was arrested and denied the allegations but detectives found more than 400 different photos of children being abused on his computers.
At Portsmouth Crown Court, he was jailed for six years for the abuse and six months for the indecent photographs.
Police are now urging anyone with concerns about Hankins to come forward.
Ray Churchley headed up the investigation at Havant child abuse unit.
He said: ‘Tim Hankins was in a position of trust and he completely abused that trust, knowing that the victim was vulnerable.
‘He is dangerous and, as far as children are concerned, he is a danger and threat to them.
‘The victim was brave to be able to give evidence, via video, to the Crown Court.’
The youngster, who is now 13, is still undergoing counselling to try to get over what happened to her.
Mr Churchley, a retired detective with 30 years experience who is now police staff, said she has a very close-knit family supporting her.
He said: ‘Her family are very, very supportive and in time she will recover.
‘But she is still suffering. The prison sentence is good news because it will allow her to move on knowing there has been justice. She is a very brave girl.’
Hankins, formerly of Beach Road, Hayling Island, was a well-known figure and worked for decades as a keyboardist entertaining guests at holiday parks.
He was also a photographer and had a shop in Mengham which is now closed.
Both Mill Rythe and Lakeside holiday parks say Hankins had not been employed at the sites since 2011, and the abuse was not connected with either of the camps.
Hankins’ fourth wife Ann-Marie has now moved off Hayling Island and is standing by her husband.
A former friend of Hankins has spoken of her shock at his conviction.
The woman, who does not want to be identified, said she knew him for 15 years and he was a rock to her family when they were going through a difficult time.
She said: ‘I thought he was a really nice bloke.
‘He was a very gentle man. I can’t believe I’ve been such a bad judge of character.
‘Everybody loved him, they thought he was ace.
‘We’re all totally gobsmacked. It’s absolutely disgusting.
‘I feel very sorry for the girl and her family. It’s so awful for them.’
Hankins pleaded guilty to making indecent photographs of children and was jailed for six months.
He was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault by penetration of a female under 13. For that he was jailed for six years.
He was found not guilty on charges of rape, sexual assault of a female under 13 and of engaging in sexual activity in front of a child.
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Anyone who is concerned about Hankins should contact the child abuse investigation team on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.