A sex offender who narrowly avoided being sent to prison in June for having half a million child sex abuse images was back in the dock – after he was caught flouting a court order.

That sexual harm prevention order banned John Jones from using software that allowed him to wipe files from his computer.

READ MORE: No jail time for Grove man caught with half a MILLION indecent images

The 67-year-old walked from Oxford Crown Court in June with a two-year suspended prison sentence and the judge’s warning ringing in his ears that he would be jailed if he was back in trouble.

Less than a month-and-a-half after that sentence was imposed, he was visited at his home by police officers who wanted to install monitoring software on his new computer and ‘make him aware of community tensions about the fact he had returned to his home address in Grove’, Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday.

When they went to install the risk management software, the police officers noticed that Jones had installed software of his own – a programme designed to ‘clean’ the computer drive.

Interviewed by officers from the Thames Valley public protection unit, he freely admitted downloading the programme. He said he ‘wanted to set up the computer exactly how it was’ when he was arrested this February and when he was found to have downloaded 550,000 indecent images of children.

Appearing before the district judge yesterday, Jones, of Milbrook Square, Grove, pleaded guilty to breaching his sexual harm prevention order.

Charlie Moss, defending, said her client was ‘clear to stress this was not a direct, deliberate breach’ of his order.

District Judge Kamlesh Rana remanded Jones in custody and committed the case to the crown court for sentence. She said: “I take the view this matter is too serious for me to deal with and my powers of punishment are insufficient.”

He will appear before a judge at Oxford Crown Court for sentence on August 2.

Last month, Recorder John Ryder QC warned the defendant: “Let me make this absolutely plain, Mr Jones: if you breach this suspended sentence in any way you will be sentenced by me.

“And if you are properly shown to be responsible for that breach you will be sent to prison for a substantial [period]. Do you understand that?”

The court heard that ‘isolated’ Jones spent a decade amassing his vile collection of indecent images on the dark web.

The collection included children as young as two or three and there were graphic depictions of youngsters being raped.

He saved his files under graphic titles, including one that described the girl being abused as a ’13-year-old cutie’.

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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 TI witter: @t_seaward