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Babysitter Jareth Harries-Markham jailed for repeated sexual abuse of children in his care

27 September 2022

I very often highlight this very serious topic of not advertising your kids on social media for a babysitter & or using ANYONE who advertises on social media as a babysitter. Yet, sadly time & time again uneducated parents are often putting up ads on social media like Facebook requesting a babysitter. You’re opening the door for predators like this shitbag below!! It’s too easy for paedophiles now because of parents.

An experienced WA prosecutor has almost been brought to tears as he detailed the sexual abuse of 16 young girls, some of them just babies, by a man who was being paid to babysit them.

Key points:

  • Jareth Harries-Markham pleaded guilty to more than 140 charges
  • The victims, some of them sisters, were aged between 8 months and 9 years
  • He will have to serve at least 16 years of an 18-year jail term

WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing.

Jareth Harries-Markham, 24, faced the Supreme Court today, where he pleaded guilty to more than 140 charges, including 35 counts of indecent dealing with a child under 13 and 94 counts of indecently recording a child.

The victims, some of them sisters, were aged between 8 months and 9 years, and were being babysat by Harries-Markham, after their families had responded to an advertisement he had posted online.

Some of the families, who were present in court today, hired Harries-Markham on a live-in basis and the court heard some of the offences happened as the children were sleeping.

Other victims were friends of the children who were abused while they were on play dates at their home.

Children filmed

Harries-Markham also used his mobile phone to take photos and videos of what he was doing, which were discovered stored on his electronic devices in various folders, some of them titled with the child’s name.

Jareth Harries-Markham advertised his babysitting services on Facebook.

At one point during the hearing, state prosecutor Brett Tooker struggled to contain his emotions as he detailed the abuse of a 23-month-old girl.

He paused and his voice quivered before he was able to regain his composure and continue.

The court heard Harries-Markham told a psychiatrist he had no memory of what he had done, and he did not know why he did what he did — with his lawyer Amir Murad submitting his client “did love these children”.

Jareth Harries-Markham recorded the offending on his mobile phone.

He did become attached to the children. It was never his intention to cause them distress and he can’t reconcile what he did, with how he felt about the children,” Mr Murad said.

“He can’t come to terms with what he has done.”

Mr Murad suggested his client may not have been aware of the paedophilic disorder he had, and he submitted there was no evidence to suggest Harries-Markham had started working as a babysitter to gain access to children.

However, Justice Stephen Hall pointed out that Harries-Markham had continued to advertise his services even after he had started offending.

Prosecutor Brett Tooker struggled to contain his emotions as he detailed the abuse inflicted by Harries-Markham

“He held himself out as someone who could be trusted with the care of a child when he knew what he had done,” Justice Hall noted.

Mr Tooker said that was something that “tormented” the children’s parents, many of whom had provided victim impact statements to the court.

‘Enduring torment’ of parents

Harries-Markham was sentenced to 18 years in jail.

Justice Hall said the victim impact statements from the parents made for “harrowing and heart-rending reading” and spoke of the “enduring torment” they felt.

“The trust they placed in you was grossly violated,” Justice Hall told Harries-Markham.

Justice Hall said the number of victims and their ages were aggravating factors, particularly those offences against girls who were just babies.

He said the recording of the abuse and the “methodical” way Harries-Markham had then stored and catalogued the images and videos, also added to the seriousness of the offences.

Justice Hall gave the 24-year-old a discount for his pleas of guilty, noting that while the evidence against him was overwhelming, it had spared the victims and their families the trauma of having to go through a trial.

However, he said he could not accept that the Harries-Markham was remorseful, saying his claim he could not remember was not consistent with any show of remorse.

Harries-Markham will have to serve 16 years before he can be released on parole.

Lifetime restraining orders were also made to ban Harries Markham from ever trying to contact or communicate with his victims.

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