By Claire Ottaviano
A BENNETT Springs man charged with a string of sexual offences, including the rape of a baby, was in contact with Perth Hills and eastern region families days before his arrest.
Jareth Thomas Harries-Markham appeared in Perth Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with the sexual penetration of a child, indecent dealings with three children aged between four and 10 and producing and possessing child exploitation material.
Mr Harries-Markham messaged several families in the Perth Hills Babysitters and Nannies Facebook group as recently as last week.
Members of the group who had interacted with the 23-year-old online, commented they felt sickened after reading about the charges this week.
One Stratton mother said he messaged her earlier this month after she posted a babysitting job on the page.
“I have more than 10 years experience between babysitting and au pairing,” the message said.
“I have my wwcc (Working with Children Check), police check and first aid.”
Despite his stated credentials, the mother, and many others in the group, said they got “bad vibes” from his Facebook picture which contained a banner in opposition to the State Government ban on gel blasters.
In January Mr Harries-Markham posted to the Nannies, Au Pairs and Babysitters Perth WA Facebook page he was “looking for work during the school holidays” as he was then au pairing two children in Forrestfield and wanted babysitting jobs on the side.
Child Abuse Squad detectives executed a search warrant on his home on Sunday where it is alleged they located and seized a quantity of child exploitation material as well as a number of gel blasters and edged weapons.
He has been refused bail and is next due to appear before the court on September 20 charged with one count of sexual penetration of a child under 13 years, five counts of indecently dealing with a child under 13 years, two counts of possessing child exploitation material, one count of producing child exploitation material and multiple counts of possess prohibited and controlled weapon.
Anyone with more information relating to this matter or any similar incidents is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimes
If you are or have been a victim of sexual abuse, or if you have information about someone being abused, contact police on 131 444.