UK news Paedophile who sent photos to 'young girl' caught in undercover bust last minute news
MetiNews.Com - The man offered to drive 180 miles to meet the 'teenager' despite being reminded she was underage
Breaking News ! A man has been jailed after the '14-year-old girl' he groomed and tried to meet up with turned out to be an adult. Mark Harper, 34, sent the ‘girl’ pictures of his genitalia, offered to take her shopping and even suggested booking a hotel room with her. In the messages to the ‘girl’, Harper offered to drive from Peterborough to Durham – a journey of at least 180 miles - to meet her. Before the meeting, the ‘girl’ - who was actually a man working undercover to expose offences - reported the messages to the police, and Harper was arrested two days later. On Friday (June 26), Harper was sentenced to 15 months in prison and placed on the sex offenders' register for 10 years. Join the #IAmOpen community and give your business a boost Access to lots of FREE tools to help stabilise your business and start making up for lost time is just one newsletter sign up away. As part of our #IAmOpen community to help and support small businesses owners like you, you will get a regular newsletter from our journalists plus we'll let you know how you can: get exclusive access to business webinars have a single-page website landing page made montage video created book an online marketing heath check report and bag discounted advertising rates just made for our mates.What’s more, it’s all FREE. So sign up here right now. It’s very least we can do to back you, support you and just say THANK YOU. Arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual communication with a child The messages, which were sent on chat forums, spanned 17 days and began on September 20, 2018. He asked her sexually explicit questions, asked if he could watch her undress or get changed and even supplied his work mobile number. Harper, of Bodesway, Orton Malborne, Peterborough, continued to message the 'girl' despite being reminded she was only 14. On October 5, Harper said he would drive to Durham after the weekend, arranged a shop to meet the ‘girl’ at and said again how much he wanted to watch her get changed. Harper was arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual communication with a child. Electronic devices were seized from him on his arrest. Read More Related Articles How to get the latest Cambridgeshire news direct to your inbox Indecent images found at his property In a police interview, Harper admitted sending the messages but claimed he thought he was talking to an adult pretending to be a child – describing it as “like a game.” He told officers he had no intention of actually travelling to meet the person he was chatting to, but did admit to sending explicit images to the ‘girl’ despite knowing she could have been 14. Examinations of the devices seized from Harper’s address revealed indecent images; three of category B and six of category C. Harper was re-arrested in February last year and despite initial denials, eventually admitted responsibility for all of the content and taking two of the category B images himself. Sentenced to 15 months in prison Harper pleaded guilty to taking indecent images of a child, engaging in sexual communication with a child and two counts of making indecent images of a child.
. He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for the same time period. 'Harper's behaviour was completely inappropriate' DC Scott Bowden, who investigated, said: “Harper’s behaviour was completely inappropriate and he fully intended to meet who he thought was a teenage girl. “Using the internet to target young and vulnerable girls will not be tolerated and thankfully Harper was stopped and arrested. “Alongside this was the discovery of indecent images on the devices seized from Harper’s home. A child is victimised not only when an indecent image is taken, but also every time it is viewed or shared. “Protecting young people from harm is one of our top priorities and we will continue to work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”
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Serious offending Sentencing, Judge Matthew Lowe said he was concerned about Harper’s initial denial that he had a sexual interest in children. He added that the severity of Harper’s actions in the three different forms of offending were so serious that only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate. Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to someone, can apply for disclosure information through Clare's Law and Sarah’s Law. For information and advice regarding sexual offences and child abuse visit www.cambs.police.uk/childprotection.