Sex offender caught using computer at Norwich Library

The Forum in Norwich city centre. Picture: Archant

The Forum in Norwich city centre. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A convicted sex offender was caught breaching his order by using one of the computers at Norwich Millennium Library to access his Facebook account.

Jonathan Baigent, 43, was meant to only use computers which kept a record of his internet use but an officer found him using a computer at Norwich library which did not allow for such checks to be made, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Robert Warner, prosecuting, said that although Baigent had gone on his Facebook account, there was not any evidence of him talking to any children although he had sent some sexual messages.

Baigent admitted he should have checked before using the library computer.

Mr Warner said that Baigent had 15 convictions for 33 offences, mainly for sexual offences including indecent exposure and making obscene phone calls, with his last conviction being in 2018 when he was given 12 months for attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

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Baigent, who had been staying in a hostel in Norwich, admitted breaching his sexual harm prevention order on January 15 last year, and was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.

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Jonathan Goodman, for Baigent, said that he had just been released from Norwich prison and hoped to return to his home in Ipswich but there had been "scurrilous" messages posted on Facebook about him, which meant he was advised to stay in a Norwich hostel.

He said that he had gone to The Forum to use the computer and had not given any thought about whether it would breach his order.

"He did not check and it is that lack of a check that has brought him to be here today."

He said he was accessing Facebook in an open plan area and said: "He was not doing anything unlawful. It is not as if he had borrowed someone's laptop."

He said that Baigent had since completed a course to reduce his risk and was trying to break his past habits.

Sentencing him, Judge Stephen Holt said the best thing was to try to stop him re-offending and ordered that as part of the suspended sentence he should attend a further one-to-one course which might help him. He said: "It is very much in the public interest to stop you re-offending."

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