A paedophile logged onto a library computer in breach of a court order – just days after he was in court for doing exactly the same thing.

Victor Balfour, 68, was given a four month deferred sentence last December for using a computer at the Westgate Centre library in central Oxford on the day he was released from prison in November last year. He claimed he was using the computer to check his pension and find somewhere to stay.

He logged onto the library computer despite a sexual harm prevention order first imposed in 2015 that banned him from using a digital device unless its web history could be saved.

Judge Ian Pringle QC released him on bail, giving him a chance to prove he could stay out of trouble for four months.

READ MORE: Pervert with computer ban logged on at library on day of jail release

He told the defendant at that hearing: “What I am expecting of you, Mr Balfour, first of all is that in that four months you don’t commit any offence whatsoever. Do you understand? That means you cannot access computers that do not save the history.”

Within a week of that warning shot across his bows, Balfour went to a council library in the Dorset coastal town of Weymouth and asked to use the computer.

Prosecutor Tom Cockcroft told Oxford Crown Court on Thursay afternoon that the pensioner asked the librarian whether the computers saved the internet history and was told they did not.

He was back at the same library on January 29 and 31 to use the computers.  

Arrested and interviewed by the police, Balfour claimed he did not remember being told the internet history was not saved and said he had only used the computers for ‘innocent purposes’.

He told the officers that the library computers used to retain the internet history before he went to prison and was ‘never certain’ whether or not the system had been changed.

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Mitigating, Lyall Thompson described his client as a ‘frankly incapable man who has been unable to follow what he should have been able to follow’.

He had remained out of trouble since January and had now ‘finally realised’ that going to the library was getting him in far too much trouble. There was no evidence he had used the library computers for ‘nefarious’ purposes.

Mr Thompson asked the judge to give Balfour another chance. He said there was a ‘human temptation’ to punish someone ‘perhaps excessively’ if they proved to be a disappointment, but added that he knew Judge Pringle would not do that.

Jailing him for 20 months, Judge Pringle told Balfour: “I am quite satisfied you were fully aware of what you were doing.”

Balfour, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to four breaches of his sexual harm prevention order. The Weymouth offences brought the number of crimes on his list of previous convictions to 100.

His previous convictions included a 32 month sentence in 2019 for breaching a sexual harm prevention order and going to meet what he thought was a girl with whom he had been chatting online.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward