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Paedophile ex-paratrooper, 32, is SPARED jail after judge says he lost 'status' after being blown up

29 May 2020 Daily Mail Online

An ex-paratrooper who targeted young girls for sex online has been spared jail after a judge said he had lost his 'status' when he was blown up in Afghanistan.

Lee Harvey, 32, from Bolton, was unmasked as a predator who used the profile 'HotSoldier4u' to talk to children as young as 13 in internet chatrooms and on Kik.

He was exposed after an undercover investigation by a paedophile hunters group North East Protectors.

Harvey sent them explicit messages and pictures of himself showing off his genitals and naked tattooed torso.

The former soldier also created a WhatsApp group called 'naughty little girls' which had up to 50 youngsters as members.

In one message he boasted of sleeping with an eight-year-old girl.

Lee Harvey (pictured), 32, from Bolton, was unmasked as a predator who used the profile 'HotSoldier4u' to talk to children as young as 13 in internet chatrooms and on Kik

Police arrested Harvey over his chat with one investigator posing as a 14-year-old girl and he was held again when he contacted another operative pretending to be 13.

Officers found suspicious images on his phone and he had used the device to search 'teen dating' and 'kid chatting' apps.

Harvey faced jail at Bolton Crown Court after he admitted trying to incite under age girls into sexual activity and attempting sexual communication with a child.

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But he escaped with a 12-month sentence, suspended for a year, after a judge learnt of his fledgling military career.

His service ended in 2012 when he was seriously injured in a mortar attack two years earlier while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Harvey lost the back of his thigh in the explosion and 'died' on the operating table for five minutes but medics managed to save him and was medically discharged.

Harvey was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for ten years and will have to abide by a Sexual Harm Prevention Order at Bolton Crown Court (pictured)

He claimed the incident led him to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and he abused drink and crack cocaine.

Sentencing Judge Timothy Stead said: 'His disabilities have been severe and his loss of status and damage to his self image has changed his life and his ability to deal with it.

'He then turned to intoxicant of more that one kind as a coping mechanism. He seems to be someone who has been de-stabilised by what has happened to him.'

He told Harvey: 'I am mindful that you have had more than your fair share of difficulties.

'You had been serving your country and very unhappily you suffered very badly for it. Unhappily drink and drugs has done even more harm to you. You have to stop that otherwise it's an even gloomier future for you.'

Harvey was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for ten years and will have to abide by a Sexual Harm Prevention Order regulating his use of computers and contacting girls under 18.

Original Link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8369759/Paedophile-ex-paratrooper-32-SPARED-jail-judge-says-lost-status-blown-up.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490

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