A West Yorkshire man has been banned from working as a hypnotherapist or a hypnotist for the next 10 years after he was jailed for causing a woman to engage in sexual activity without her consent.

Ian Roper’s victim was at Bradford Crown Court today (Friday) to see the 58-year-old qualified hypnotherapist receive an immediate 29-month jail sentence for his abuse of her and his possession of a small quantity of indecent images of children.

The complainant, who must not be identified for legal reasons, had gone for hypnotherapy sessions with Roper, but prosecutor David McGonigal said the defendant had made her engage in sexual activity without her consent while she was under hypnosis during their second session.

Mr McGonigal described how Roper was able to “put her under” by touching her shoulder and he then took her to her “safe place”.

He said the complainant became aware of the defendant’s voice becoming “sexy” and of him sitting closer to her.

“He said the only thing that matter was his voice and and she had to listen to his command,” said Mr McGonigal.

He told her she was lying on a sun bed getting hotter and needed to rub imaginary sun cream on herself.

During the offence Roper took the woman’s bra off and then told her to remove her clothing as she continued to rub herself with the imaginary cream.

“She managed to come round and pushed the defendant away,” said Mr McGonigal.

But when she stood up to dress herself Roper took hold of her and tried to “put her under again” saying she would not remember anything of what had happened.

“She wanted to get away as soon as possible,” said Mr McGonigal.

The woman made a complaint to the police, but when he was interviewed Roper, of Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, said the allegation was false and he’d had no sexual liaisons with anyone while under hypnosis.

During the police investigation officers found five indecent images of children and one prohibited image of a child on Roper’s laptop.

Roper pleaded guilty at his trial to causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and possession of the indecent images.

Recorder David Gordon jailed him for 25 months for the sexual offence with an additional four months for the indecent images.

The judge also said that Roper would have to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years and he must also comply with a restraining order which bans him from contacting the complainant for the same period.

Recorder Gordon also imposed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order which includes a ban on Roper working, for payment or otherwise, as a hypnotherapist or a hypnotist and he is also prohibited from advertising himself as such a person.

Barrister Ian Brook, for Roper, confirmed that his client was a qualified hypnotherapist, but he said his attempts to set up a practice had been short-lived.

“He’s no intention at all to continue hypnotherapy with ladies or gentlemen,” he added.

Recorder Gordon said Roper’s offending was a very clear breach of trust.

“You were purporting to administer a therapeutic treatment but it is clear you never intended anything of the sort and your interest was selfish and sexual,” he told Roper.

He said it had been a sustained incident and the complainant had been vulnerable.

“It is clear from her victim impact statement that she has suffered no serious physical injury, but she has suffered severe psychological harm,” he added.