A convicted internet paedophile deleted his browsing history because he was embarrassed that he had been visiting dating sites.
Jeffrey Tout, 42, from Chipperfield, had been given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order in March 2016 after being caught with illegal images of children.
When his Lenovo computer was examined in June 2017, it was discovered that he had breached the order by deleting the history. An extreme pornographic image of a woman having sexual activity with a dog was also found.
Prosecutor Douglas Page told St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Friday, January 25) that Tout said he only deleted the history to avoid the embarrassment of it being revealed that he had been visiting adult dating sites.
He said the extreme image had been sent by a friend to his phone over Whatsapp. And claimed he had deleted the image and had not realised it would have been stored on his computer.
Mr Page said the police had examined his computer and could not find anything that contradicted Tout’s account. “It can’t be said there is anything illegal that he has viewed,” he said.
Tout, of Bulstrode Lane, Chipperfield, Kings Langley, appeared for sentence having plead guilty to breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and possessing one image of extreme pornography.
Defending Gwen Williamson said he had indicated his guilty plea at the first opportunity. She said he was working full time as a manager on a farm.
Judge Michael Kay QC said: “I am just persuaded I can suspend the sentence. You have come very, very close to going to prison.”
He passed a 24-week jail sentence suspended for two years. He must abide by a three-month electronic curfew between 8pm and 5am and attend 20 days of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Tout must also pay £500 costs in 28 days.
The judge warned him: “I cannot imagine a court would give you another chance.”