A SEX offender banned indefinitely from using the internet after downloading child porn was found about to go online by staff at Burnley library, a court heard.
Russell Wilkinson, 37, who has repeatedly flouted a sexual offences prevention order, is prohibited from owning, possessing or using a computer or mobile phone with internet access, except for controlled use in a working environment with the knowledge of police.
The defendant, who was convicted of six counts of making indecent photos of teenage boys in 2008, had initially been barred from having a home computer with internet access, by the SOPO.
But, in 2010, he was jailed for two-and-a half years after using a public internet cafe in Brierfield, to do it again. He had admitted 14 more charges of making indecent images of a child.
Wilkinson, who was also prohibited from associating with children under 18, had been on licence from an 18 month jail term for breaching the SOPO at the time.
The prison sentence had been imposed in 2009, after he had been seen playing with youngsters at an evangelical church where members had taken him under their wing.
Burnley Crown Court heard how the defendant has recently been a voluntary worker at Open Door, a drop-in centre, after being introduced by his church pastor.
He had gone into the library on April 23 with a ‘vulnerable’ 52-year- old man said to have learning difficulties.
Wilkinson said to the assistant: “My friend has learning difficulties. He doesn’t know what to do. I’m helping him choose some music.”
He was just about to use the internet, but was stopped by staff who realised who he was and that he had warning marker against him on the library database
Police were called, the defendant was arrested and claimed the computer use was innocent. He said he was going to put some music tracks on a memory card for the friend.
Wilkinson, who has also failed to comply with the sex offenders’ register in the past, had been convicted of breaching the SOPO by magistrates and had been committed to the higher court for sentence. The ex-McDonald’s worker, formerly of Barrowford, but now of Fir Street, Nelson, was jailed for 12 months.
Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt, who has in the past slammed the defendant as ‘cunning’, told Wilkinson the sexual offences prevention order was made to protect the public.
by Wendy Barlow