Content warning: the following story contains discussion of rape, sexual assault and grooming.
Newcastle musician Daniel Hanson – former frontman of local bands Falling For Beloved and We Built Atlantis – has been sentenced to 28 years of jail time after pleading guilty to the charge of 14 rapes between 2005 and 2014.
The 34-year old, who would often use the pseudonym Jimmy Beloved, reportedly used his stature as a musician to abuse young women and girls, one as young as 12 years of age. As reported by ABC News, police said that Hanson would contact young women he’d meet at gigs.
“It was a common theme that he would meet one of the young women at the band’s performance and he would ask for their phone number, then send them messages,” they said.
It’s alleged Hanson groomed one victim, aged 14 at the time, with the message: “You were the most beautiful girl in the room. You have intoxicating eyes.” He allegedly frequently warn his victims to stay silent on their encounters, with text messages commonly reading: “No-one needs to know about today,” and: “It’s our little secret.”
The charges were first brought against Hanson in 2019, when a total of 14 women came forward to allege Hanson had raped them. Police subsequently formed a strike force to investigate, and in late 2020, Hanson pleaded guilty to 23 charges of child sex and indecent assault offences.
Hanson was delivered his sentence today (July 15) via audio visual link from the Shortland Correctional Centre at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. Sentencing judge Penelope Hock noted that Hanson had delivered a letter apologising to his victims, but said the severity of his crimes outweighed any genuine remorse.
“The sheer number of victims and the seriousness of the assaults has meant that a lengthy jail term was the only option,” Hock said. Hanson was, however, granted a 25 per cent discount on his sentence by virtue of his purported remorse and early guilty plea.
Referring to one particular case in which a victim of Hanson’s said she was still crippled with fear from her attack, Hock continued: “That child you groomed and sexually violated had to deal with nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks because of your unlawful behaviours.”
Hanson will be eligible for parole in 2040.