A CONVICTED paedophile who repeatedly breached a court order by using a computer at Weymouth Library has been jailed.

Victor Peter Balfour, aged 65, appeared in Oxford Crown Court on Thursday, May 12, for breaching the terms of a lengthy Sexual Harm Prevention Order which bans him from using any internet-enabled device unless it can save the web history.

Prosecuting, Tom Cockroft, told the court that Balfour's sexual harm prevention order was first imposed at Cardiff Crown Court in 2015 after he was convicted of having indecent images of children.

Dorset Echo: Victor Balfour outside Weymouth Train Station in 2018. Credit: Still taken from video courtesy of The UK DatabaseVictor Balfour outside Weymouth Train Station in 2018. Credit: Still taken from video courtesy of The UK Database

The court heard that the order was extended indefinitely in January 2019 when he was jailed for 32 months at Bournemouth Crown Court for breaching the order and going to meet what he thought was a young person with whom he had been chatting with online.

Balfour, of Turton Street in Weymouth, breached his sexual harm prevention order on the same day he was released from prison by using computers at Westgate Library in Oxford on November 11.

He appeared before Judge Ian Pringle QC in December last year who gave the defendant a chance and deferred his sentence for four months, urging him not to commit any further offences within that period of time.

However, just one week later Balfour was said to have entered Weymouth Library to use a computer again.

Mr Cockroft said that Balfour approached an assistant at Weymouth Library on December 30 last year and told her he did not have a library card. The assistant said she could help him get on a computer on a guest account and Balfour was said to have asked her whether the computers kept the history of websites accessed which she said they did not, and confirmed that the computers were on a private browsing mode.

Balfour was said to have returned to Weymouth Library to use the internet on the computers again on January 29 and two days later, on January 31, this year.

The defendant was arrested and in police interview claimed that he was not aware library computers did not retain their internet history.

Mitigating, Lyall Thompson, said that there was 'absolutely no evidence whatsoever' that on these occasions he used the internet for 'nefarious or sexual purposes'.

Mr Thompson said that Balfour was 'frankly an incapable man who has been unable to follow' straight forward instructions from the court.

He said that for Balfour, 'the penny has finally dropped' and said he now realises that going to the library 'even for innocent purposes' is not a good idea and has since stopped going to the library and using the internet all together.

Judge Pringle said: "On the 23rd of December last year you and I met and, through the skill of your council, I was persuaded to give you a deferred sentence.

"One of the things I said to you very clearly at the time was that I would defer your sentence for a period of up to four months, until April, and I insisted that you did not commit any further offences.

"Well, one week later you wandered into the library at Weymouth and went onto a library computer which you were prevented from doing.

"I'm quite satisfied that you were well aware of what you were doing.

"I have no doubt at all that these offences pass the custody threshold."

For the offences, Judge Pringle sentenced Balfour to a total of 20 months imprisonment.