Man sentenced following attempted sexual assault
We are issuing advice to help people stay safe on social media after a man has been jailed for intending to commit a sexual offence against an 18-year-old woman he met online.
The victim met Harman in February 2018 by accidentally adding him on Snapchat.
Herman then started messaging the victim, and many of his messages indicated that he had intensions of meeting her for the purpose of sexual activity.
On Monday, April 2, Herman attempted to break into the victim’s home in Sunbury-on-Thames by climbing through a window in her bedroom. The victim refused to let him in and ran scared to her parents.
The victim’s father then confronted Harman about trespassing into his daughter’s room, and Harman assaulted him. Thankfully his injuries were not serious.
Spelthorne Inspector Maxine Cilia said: “Thankfully, in this instance Harman was unsuccessful in attempting to commit any sexual offences, however this may have not been the case if the victim was asleep and unaware.
“I hope this case reminds people that although the internet is an amazing tool, however unfortunately it can be used for criminal purposes.
“I would also like to remind parents to be aware of the sites and social media platforms their children are accessing and who they are communicating with.
“There is a lot of information available online on how to protect yourself and your children online and I would strongly recommend utilising these when educating children how to stay safe.”
Harman, 32, of Halcot Avenue, Bexleyheath, has been given a 22 month custodial sentence, 5 years restraining order and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years. He appeared in Guildford Crown Court on Friday, 6 July.
Top Tips to stay safe online
- Never give out personal information online such as your home address, telephone number or child’s school name
- If there is a computer in the house keep it in a main room within the house so that you can monitor your child’s activities
- Become more computer literate – get to know the sites your child uses, what type of information they offer and whether there are ways to block out inappropriate material
- Have the conversation with your children around the fact that people lie online and they are not always who they say they are.
- Never allow your children to arrange a face to face meet with someone they have met online without your permission. Also explain to them how dangerous this can be.
For more tips about how to keep yourself and your children safe online, visit our website: https://surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/staying-safe-online/