Sadistic loner, 24, ‘branded’ two female teens with his initials to ‘own’ them

A sadistic loner 'branded' two young women by carving his initials into their skin.

Alex Harper, 24, carried it out without their consent and left the two vulnerable teenagers permanently scarred.

He has now been jailed for three years and four months, DevonLive reports.

A court heard he had a fixation with domination, causing pain and self-harm but claimed they had agreed to his carvings.

But a judge said he was sly, egotistical, and calculating and wanted to find ways to "own" the teens and bend them to his will.

They had been left psychologically and physically scarred by him, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Harper, of Paignton, Devon, cultivated an online persona as a caring and sensitive man with an interest in Japanese cartoons known as anime.

But he had a quick temper if he did not get his own way, it was said.

Judge David Evans said: "This is an object lesson in the perils of so-called online romance.

"I'm in no doubt you were a very difficult person to get along with."

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Harper was convicted of one charge of controlling or coercive behaviour relating to a 16-year-old girl.

He admitted wounding the same victim and another teenager.

Harper said he had suffered from bullying and had body dysmorphia, a mental health condition where a person spends time worrying about his appearance.

He also has Asperger's and ADHD.

The judge said it was clear Harper's own personal issues with social anxiety could not fully explain his behaviour.

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He added: "The plain fact is you did not care about the physical and psychological harm you were inflicting.

"You feel you are still the victim. You most certainly are not the victim in any sense whatsoever. You are the perpetrator. You acted with deliberation and some forethought.

"I'm entirely sure your mental health and learning difficulties are not linked to the commission of the offences."

The judge said it was not a case of a bullied person turning bully himself but a possessive and violent man inflicting injury for the thrill of power.

Adrian Chaplin, defending, said Harper is of previous good character, had been young at the time, and did not pose an imminent threat to the public.

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247.

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