Army medic, 28, jailed for 30 months for grooming '12-year-old girl'

Army medic, 28, is jailed for 30 months for asking ’12-year-old girl’ to be his ‘sugar baby’ and offering her £300 to take her virginity

  • Private Peter Harries, 28, pleaded guilty to all the charges laid against him
  • The Army medic thought he was messaging a 12 year-old girl on an app
  • He was actually speaking to police officers, who found and arrested him
  • Indecent images were also found on his computer, a military court heard 
  • A British Army medic has been jailed after he asked a 12 year-old girl to be his ‘sugar baby’ and offered her hundreds of pounds to take her virginity.

    Private Peter Harries, 28, believed he was messaging a child called Chloe while using the app Kik, but he was actually talking to two undercover police officers, a military court heard.

    The married father, stationed in Tidworth, Wilts, was told the girl was 12 years old and from the UK before he offered to pay her £5 for naked pictures, £10 for a naked video and up to £100 for sex.

    But when ‘Chloe’ asked whether it mattered that she had not had sex before, he said he would pay her £300 because it was her first time, the military court was told.

    Pte Harries, of 1 Medical Regiment, was arrested and upon investigation, indecent images – including one Category A, the highest category – were found on his computer in his living quarters.

    JAILED: Private Peter Harries, 28, was sentenced to 30 months after he messaged who he thought was a 12 year-old girl, trying to solicit sex and naked pictures. He was in fact speaking to two undercover police officers

    JAILED: Private Peter Harries, 28, was sentenced to 30 months after he messaged who he thought was a 12 year-old girl, trying to solicit sex and naked pictures. He was in fact speaking to two undercover police officers 

    The military court also heard Pte Harries had been in possession of indecent images. Sentencing him, the judge said: 'Possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime... it is people like you who feed the market'

    The military court also heard Pte Harries had been in possession of indecent images. Sentencing him, the judge said: ‘Possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime… it is people like you who feed the market’

    The medic, who has served in the army for almost four years, pleaded guilty to three charges of attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and one count of making indecent images.

    He has now been handed a 30-month prison sentence and dismissed from the Army.

    Bulford Military Court, Wilts, heard that in February 2020, Pte Harries began speaking to what he thought was a 12 year-old girl called Chloe from the UK on chat messaging app, Kik.

    Shortly after a brief introduction, Pte Harries began to ask the fake profile, which did not have an image, for nudes and sex, the court heard.

    Major Jon Griffiths, prosecuting, said: ‘The online persona says she was 12 and from the UK and he asks “would you like to be my sugar baby?”

    ‘She asks what a sugar baby is.

    ‘He says “I pay you, I have sex with you, you send pics and videos’.

    ‘The girl then replied: “Oh wow, you pay me, I don’t get pocket money. Does it matter if I’ve not done sex before?”

    ‘He said “I will f*** you even though you have never done anything before.” He said he would pay £5 for three nudes, £10 to £15 for a video and up to £100 for sex.

    ‘But he then said “because it’s your first time, I will give you £300.”

    ‘During those conversations, he told her that he was a medic at a hospital from Wiltshire. He asked for her phone number, but she did not give it so he gave a phone number instead.

    ‘The police then tracked it back to him and his parents’ address.’

    Following his arrest in March 2020, Pte Harries gave a no comment interview to police before pleading guilty to the four charges.

    Jonathan Lynch, defending, told the court: ‘He is a decent, compassionate ,caring father, husband and soldier.

    ‘He is disgusted by the part of him that finds children attractive, he feels real despair and finds that part of him abhorrent.

    ‘He does not want to be who he is. He did not wake up one day and decide to be this way.

    ‘This is how he was born, this cannot be trained out of him, it’s part of who he is and he does not want it to be who he is.’

    Judge Advocate Edward Legard, sentencing Pte Harries, said: ‘You offered money for nudes and money for videos of her masturbating and offered her £300 for the first meet.

    ‘Possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime, far from it. They are often young vulnerable and are often recruited from impoverished backgrounds.

    ‘They are exploited and abused by others purely to feed gratification of people like you. It is people like you who feed the market.

    ‘Like many cases of this type, this is a very sad case because the impact of your offending will fall not only on you but your immediate family.

    ‘But it will impact on your relationship with your daughter.’

    Pte Harries was jailed for 30 months but will serve half his term in custody with the remainder on licence. He was dismissed from the Army and placed under a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

    He must notify police of his address and name indefinitely.