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Man jailed for historic sexual assault in Hampshire

Ian Harmer's been sentenced to 11 years for sexual assault. Picture credits: Surrey Police

A man has been been sentenced to eleven years in prison, after sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy over 35 years ago.

Ian David Harmer, 63, of Aspen Lane, Northolt, Ealing was originally sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment which was reduced to 11 years, after pleading guilty at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (19/02/20).

It relates to an incident where Harmer approached the teenage victim near the Basingstoke Canal and threatened him with a knife before assaulting him on 26 April, 1982.

Harmer had engaged the victim in conversation, before threatening him with a knife and directing him into woodlands before attacking him.

After the offender left, the boy ran home and told his parents what happened - it was then reported to the police.

An investigation was carried out at the time, but Harmer was not identified.

The case was continually reviewed and in 2016, new forensic techniques provided conclusive evidence.

Samples were taken from the victim and a match for Harmer then came up on the national DNA database.

He was arrested and charged with buggery in February 2017.

Detective Inspector Paddy Mayers, who led the investigation, said:

“Harmer was a dangerous predator who took advantage of an innocent teenage boy in broad daylight.

"The victim was left severely traumatised by his ordeal and has had to endure more than 35 years of thinking his attacker would never be caught.

“Fortunately, when the case was reviewed in 2016, the advances in forensic techniques meant that samples taken from the victim at the time could be compared to profiles held on the national DNA database and Harmer was identified as being responsible.

“This has enabled us to finally bring him to justice for the heinous crime he committed that day and will hopefully allow the victim to begin to move on with his life.

“Harmer thought he had got away with it, but this case demonstrates that no matter how long ago a crime took place, we will never give up in our pursuit to bring the person responsible to justice.”

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