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Man jailed after sharing intimate and private images of woman

A man who shared intimate and private images of a woman which had been taken nearly two decades ago has been jailed.

Mark Harrison appeared at Chester Crown Court on Monday 22 April after previously pleading guilty to the offences.

The 41-year-old, of Heysham Close, Weston Coyney, Stoke-on-Trent, was jailed for 27 months for stalking involving serious distress and distributing private images with intent to cause distress.

The Cheshire East victim in this case was made aware from third parties that there were intimate photographs of her on various websites.

This extended to the photographs being posted on social media from fake accounts made in both the victim’s name and false names. These were also shared with the victim's friends and family, as well as on local social media pages.

Checks were completed against two of the offending social media profiles, which showed that they were created and used at Harrison’s home address.

He was subsequently arrested in August 2022 and officers located the images on his devices, along with web searches for the victim’s name.

Harrison was later charged with the offences.

On top of his 27-month sentence, he was issued with a 15-year restraining order and his electronic devices and digital storage will be destroyed.

Harrison’s victim, who has life-long anonymity, said:

“For a long time, I felt very alone and embarrassed about what was happening to me and although I hadn’t done anything wrong at all, I didn’t know who to talk to or where to get any support from.

“I Googled ‘revenge porn help’ and approached ‘Revenge Porn Helpline’. They have really helped me over the years, I can’t speak highly enough about them and what they have done.

“They search for the intimate images and actively apply to the websites and pages to have them removed.

“I couldn’t have done this without their support, and really encourage anyone who might be in a similar position to reach out to a support group and ask for help – you will be listened to and supported.”

DC Lauren Constable, the officer leading the investigation, said:

“Harrison’s behaviour and actions have had a significant impact on his victim.

“She has suffered in every aspect of her life and has been subjected to an immeasurable amount of distress because of him.

“But she had the courage to report this to Cheshire Police and the sentence Harrison has now received is as a result of her bravery and the subsequent police investigation.

“The judge presiding over the case read the Victim Impact Statements, which has enabled him to really understand the impact this has had on the victim and give her a voice inside the courtroom.

“I implore anyone who might be going through something similar to report this to police, and to seek advice and support from the available agencies.

“While I understand how uncomfortable this can be, sharing private images is a serious offence and will be dealt with robustly.

“This has been reflected today, and puts into practice laws and legislations surrounding this type of offence that are still relatively new.

“Please remember, help is here, and you do not need to suffer this in silence.”

You can report offences to Cheshire Police on 101 or through the Cheshire Police website.

Pictured - Mark Harrison of Heysham Close, Weston Coyney, Stoke-on-Trent.

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