Man jailed for child sex offences after chatting online to adults he thought were children

Date published: 13 October 2021

A man who kept indecent files on his mobile phone has been jailed.

Marc Harmer, 55, of Ridge Hill Lane, Stalybridge was sentenced today at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to five years imprisonment, 10 years on the sex offenders register and a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

Harmer after pleaded guilty to: Possession of an indecent image of a child; Attempting to arrange/facilitate a child sexual offence; Two counts of sexual communication with a child; Four counts of attempting to arrange/facilitate a commission of a child sexual offence; and 16 counts of attempted sexual communication with a child

The court was told that Harmer had been communicating online with two adults who were posing as young boys. He arranged to meet one of them and was subsequently confronted and detained.

Harmer was taken in to police custody for questioning, where his mobile devices were seized. He refused to share his passwords but the investigation team utilised specialist officers to gain access and download the files.

Detective Constable Mike Allen, of GMP's Tameside district Complex Safeguarding Team, said: "During Harmer's interactions with these two individuals, he very quickly turned the conversation sexual before asking to meet them.

"Thankfully, these individuals were not the young boys they were pretending to be and no further offences could be committed.

"Sexual offences often have a long lasting impact on victims and Greater Manchester Police is committed to preventing harm. I would, therefore, like to use this opportunity to encourage anyone who's aware of an adult inappropriately contacting a young person to report it to an appropriate adult or agency so the youngster can be safeguarded and supported and the suspect can be identified and located.

"I also hope this result warns offenders that this behaviour will not be tolerated in Greater Manchester and that authorities here are committed to ensuring they face justice. As this case demonstrates, being convicted of child sex offences results in a prison sentence. There are a number of specialist services which work to help prevent offending."

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Oldham Chronicle and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Oldham Chronicle offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer, please consider supporting us financially and help Oldham Chronicle to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Oldham Chronicle