June 2023

Convicted of indecent assaults and the rape of a girl

Abuse suffered by a boy more than 40 years ago was discovered after his abuser discussed it with prison workers while in jail for other sexual offences, a court has heard.

Barry Harmer, 55, of Norfolk had been serving an extended 15 year sentence after being convicted of indecent assaults and the rape of a girl when he opened up to a key worker in 2015 about previous offending as part of a course aimed to help rehabilitate him.

Norwich Crown Court heard the conversation was “disclosed to police” with Harmer initially stating he would be “happy to speak to them” although he later “refused to engage with police when they saw him in prison”.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said the victim had not wanted to speak to police back in 2015 but in 2021 contacted police and was interviewed.

Harmer, currently of HMP Bure, near Coltishall, appeared at court having previously admitted four counts of indecent assault on a male and one offence of indecency with a child.

The offences occurred in Norfolk against one male victim between July 1982 and July 1987.

Mr Spence said Harmer began the offending when he was 14, and the victim was 11 and carried on until the defendant was 18 or 19.

Mr Spence said the abuse had “a huge and long-lasting effect upon” the victim and “his mental state”.

Imposing an extended 10-year sentence, made up of five years and four months in prison and four years and eight months on extended licence, Judge Andrew Shaw said Harmer “systematically and persistently” abused the victim and was “clearly extremely dangerous”.

Harmer has already been put on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.