October 2017

Paedophile pensioner jailed after giving children sweets and toys inviting them into his home

A paedophile pensioner who brought children into his home and gave them sweets, toys and money without revealing his criminal past has been jailed.

Parents felt “sick” to discover that the man, 79, whose home their children had been visiting – sometimes alone – was a registered sex offender.

Victor Pope did not molest the children and his lawyer said he simply acted as a lonely old man who wanted company and friendship.

But a Teesside Crown Court judge said prison was “unavoidable” for a man who persistently flouted a court order meant to prevent crime.

Pope was jailed for five years in 2003 in York for indecently assaulting a girl and having indecent photos of children

He was given a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) in 2009 banning him from contact with under-18s or having cameras.

He befriended a woman whose vulnerable grandson visited Pope’s home several times and was given sweets, toys, a calculator, a model aeroplane and birthday gifts.

His gran alerted police when she discovered Pope was a sex offender through online research, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield yesterday.

The boy’s mother since said she no longer trusted anyone and second-guessed anyone she met.

A teenage girl also visited Pope’s home where he showed her jigsaws and model ships he had made.

He chatted to her and gave her money, sweets and a tablet computer.

The girl’s mum said she befriended Pope and treated him kindly and felt sorry for him but now felt silly for trusting him and blamed herself.

Pope confessed to police he let down the children’s carers by not telling him about his history.

Officers also found six devices at Pope’s home which were banned under his SOPO – a phone, a Kindle, three video cameras and a computer monitor with a webcam.

He said he bought them second-hand, foolishly “chancing his arm” hoping he would not be caught. Nothing was found on the devices.

Pope, of Webster Road, Normanby, Middlesbrough, admitted seven breaches of the SOPO.

He was given a suspended sentence in 2014 by flouting the same order by having nine devices.

The judge jailed Pope for 18 months.

September 2017

Paedophile pensioner breaches sex order again – this time by allowing children into his home

A 79-year-old paedophile could face prison after he admitted flouting an order banning him from having contact with children.

Child abuser Victor George Pope admitted six breaches of the sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) imposed in July 2009.

He fell foul of the order by having contact or associating with two children under 18, a girl and a boy, and allowing them into his home.

The offences were committed between June 2016 and June this year.

Judge Tony Briggs said: “He’s 79 and he seems to be suffering from a number of really rather serious conditions.

“The circumstances are somewhat unusual.”

He adjourned sentencing until October 30.

He told Pope, of Webster Road, Normanby, Middlesbrough: “I need a medical report on you before I decide finally what to do with you.

“I’m going to renew your bail on the same terms but don’t read into that any necessary indication as to what happens to you.

“All sentencing options will remain open.”

The same judge ordered the pensioner’s laptop and camera phone to be destroyed in October 2014.

Pope had been banned from owning such devices after he was jailed in 2003 for child sex offences.

The 2009 SOPO prevented him from having any equipment capable of making photographs.

He ended up in court in 2014 after detectives found eight items, which he said he bought at car boot sales, at his home.

Nothing untoward was found on the devices.

Pope said he had no access to the internet and bought a mobile phone, digital camera and laptop cheaply to repair them as some did not work.

Police discovered a computer which Pope had owned since 2006, the year he was released from prison.

For those eight SOPO breaches, which he admitted, Pope was given a nine-month jail term suspended for 12 months with 18 months’ supervision.

October 2014

Sex offender pensioner to have laptop and phone destroyed

A sex offender pensioner’s laptop and camera phone were ordered to be destroyed by a judge today.

Victor Pope, 76, from Middlesbrough, had been banned from owning them after he was jailed in 2003 for child sex offences.

He was given a Sexual Offence’s Prevention Order by Teesside Magistrates in July 2009 banning him from having any equipment capable of making photographs.

Prosecutor Sue Jacobs told Teesside Crown Court that two detectives visited his home on May 30 and they recovered eight items including also a tablet.

Pope made full admissions and he gave various explanations for buying them at car boot sales and he said that he loved playing around with such items.

Mrs Jacobs said that police experts have since examined them with negative results.

Peter Wishlade, defending, said that Pope had no access to the Internet and he bought them to repair them.

He paid 50p for the mobile phone, £2.99 for a digital camera and £25 for the laptop, and some of them did not work.

Pope came out of prison in 2006 and he bought a computer, and in 2009 an application was made and a Sexual Offence’s Prevention Order was imposed because he was seeing his grandchildren in the company of his adult daughter with her consent.

Mr Wishlade said that Pope had five children and a number of grandchildren.

Police went to his home on a supervision call and they discovered the computer that he had owned since 2006.

Mr Wishlade added: “He is 76 with substantial health problems.”

Judge Tony Briggs told Pope: “Bearing in mind the previous matters, the possession of equipment must set alarm bells ringing so far as you are concerned.”

Pope, of Webster Road, Middlesbrough, was given a nine months jail sentence suspended for 12 months with 18 months supervision after he pleaded guilty to eight breaches of the SOPO.

The judge ordered that the equipment should be confiscated and destroyed.

January 2004

Pervert caged over sex torment

A SELBY pensioner who abused a girl for four years and pretended to hang her was today starting a five-year prison sentence.

Victor George Pope, 65, admitted tying a rope in a noose around his victim’s neck, stripping her to the waist, and binding her hands while making pornographic films of her.

Pope, a retired ambulance man, admitted four charges of indecent assault, two of cruelty, three of taking pornographic photographs of children and one of possessing child pornography.

Prosecuting at York Crown Court, Simon Kealey said the behaviour began in May, 1999, until Pope was stopped on June 12 last year. The victim was only 11 when the abuse started.

He said Pope would grope and kiss the girl’s breasts, make her ‘play dead’ or hold a dagger to her own breast.

Mr Kealey said Pope once took her out to a local wood, and grabbed her by the neck, making it hard for her to breathe. Then he sexually assaulted her.

“She said he said he loved her, he could easily kill her, he could hide her body where nobody would find it, but later said he didn’t mean the threats,” Mr Kealey said.

The court heard that the girl returned home and began self-harming. Her mother reported Pope to the police.

James Hargan, mitigating, said Pope had admitted his behaviour from almost the first opportunity, despite the inevitable custodial sentence.

He said: “This has been a spectacular and complete fall from grace. He has lost his home, by and large his family, and his reputation.”

He said: “He knows that he will take the shame and the consequences of his behaviour with him probably to the grave.”

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Hoffman, said it was “a manifest case of grooming and corruption” and was “particularly depraved and deeply corrupting”.

He said: “When you were stripping her and putting the noose round her neck she often wished you would kill her because she didn’t want the abuse to continue.”

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