A PERVERT from Tameside was imprisoned on Wednesday for five years for a string of child sex offences.

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

He had pleaded guilty to more than 20 child sex offences, including possession of an indecent image of a child, two counts of sexual communication with a child and another 16 counts of attempted sexual communication with a child.

He had also admitted attempting to arrange a child sexual offence and four counts of attempting to facilitate a commission of a child sexual offence.

The court heard how Harmer was caught after two adults posed as boys and communicated with him online.

Harmer arranged to meet one of these 'boys', but was confronted and detained.

He was taken into custody for questioning, and all of his devices were seized.

He refused to share his passwords, but a team of specialist officers were able to access and download his files.

The Oldham Times: Marc Harmer was sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.Marc Harmer was sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Detective Constable Mike Allen, of GMP Tameside's Complex Safeguarding Team, said: "During Harmer's interactions with these 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 is 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."