July 2016

Navy veteran looked at child sex abuse images on computer used by own children

A Navy veteran who used his family’s shared computer to access indecent images of children has avoided jail.

Shamed former serviceman Nicolas Harman, of Clittaford Road, Southway, downloaded more than 30 indecent images of extreme child sexual abuse on to his family’s computer in May last year.

The 60-year-old used his password-protected “Dad” account on the shared device, also used by his wife and two children, to store the files while also downloading images on to a Dell laptop and his Samsung tablet.

Harman, who served in the Royal Navy for 33 years, was convicted of four child abuse images offences at Plymouth Crown Court 

“The computer was used by all of the family and an account, named ‘Dad’, was protected by a password,” said Julia Cox, prosecuting.

“Indecent images were found on the ‘Dad’ file of the hard drive and there were others located in temporary files.

“On the hard drive, there were a total of 35 images found and, on the computer, there were terms found which are commonly associated with indecent images including ‘hardcore kiddie porn’.”

Harman’s solicitor, Nick Lewin, admitted the 60-year-old had “strayed from morally-acceptable behaviour” while caring full-time for his disabled step-son.

He also said Harman’s wife and daughter had since relocated to America.

“He’s a 60-year-old man who has served his country for 33 years,” Mr Lewin added, “and he has never been in trouble with police before and he has always been a fine and upstanding member of the community.

“It seems likely that the conviction, and consequences of it, will have been enough to perhaps prevent Harman from further offending.

“He does not need to go to prison today.

“He would be much better served by being placed in the community.

“This was an isolated incident.”

Judge Paul Darlow handed Harman an eight-month jail sentence for each offence, suspended for three years.

He also made Harman the subject of five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered the destruction of the Dell laptop and Samsung tablet.