June 2021

Sadistic Devon man jailed for ‘branding’ teens with initials

A sadistic pervert who carved his initials into the skin of two young teens has been jailed.

Alex Harper permanently scarred two of the girls by branding them without their consent.

The 24-year-old, from Paignton, had a fixation with domination, causing pain and self harm and claimed his victims had agreed to his carvings.

But a judge at Exeter Crown Court said the reality was that Harper was sly, egotistical and calculating and wanted to find ways to ‘own’ the vulnerable teenagers and bend them to his will.

“Your wounding of each of these women was carried out without their consent,” said Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

Harper was found guilty at trial of one charge of controlling or coercive behaviour relating to a 16-year-old girl. He admitted wounding the same victim and another teenager.

The court was told the victims had been left psychologically as well as physically scarred by Harper.

He cultivated an online persona as a caring and sensitive man with an interest in anime. But the trial was told he had a quick temper if he did not get his own way.

“This is an object lesson in the perils of so called online romance,” said the judge.

“I’m in no doubt you were a very difficult person to get along with.”

Harper was jailed for three years and four months.

He was also given restraining orders not to contact either victim for ten years.