August 2022: Joshua de Banks, 24, has now changed his name by deed poll to Hunter Lee Swift – Currently in HMP Bullingdon

May 2022

Jail for ‘consummate liar’ whose unregistered phone was found under oven by police

A ‘consummate liar’s’ offender’s unauthorised smartphone was found hidden beneath the oven, a court heard.

Joshua de Banks’s sexual harm prevention order required him to register any internet-enabled device with the police.

The court order, designed to limit his untrammelled access to the web, was imposed by an Oxford judge in 2019 after the 24-year-old was convicted of swapping explicit messages with a child.

On Friday, Oxford Crown Court heard that he was interviewed in December 2020 about using chatroom website ‘MeetUp’.

He twice gave the police officers incorrect log-in details. A two-year battle to try and crack his phone only managed to establish that he had been using the website – and revealed nothing of what he had been doing.

After a 10-month stint on remand, he was released in November 2021. Within less than two months he was back in trouble with the police.

On January 26 this year he was found to have been using a friend’s phone to access WhatsApp and a new email account. The friend’s phone had no police monitoring software installed.

The following day the officers visited him at his home in Oxford. He was initially uncompliant but eventually opened his door.

Asked whether he had any internet-enabled devices, he said he only had his simple Nokia handset. That was unmasked as a lie, however, when police officers found the packaging for a smartphone and sim card – and eventually found the smartphone stashed beneath the oven.

Prosecutor Christopher Pembridge told the court that de Banks admitted in his police interview to having used the library computers. That represented another breach of his sexual harm prevention order, as the computers do not save their internet history.

De Banks, of Field Avenue, Oxford, admitted breaching the court order. He asked for four other breaches of the sexual harm prevention order to be taken into consideration by the judge, relating to his use of various apps and an online alias.

Sentencing him to two years’ imprisonment, Judge Michael Gledhill QC described the defendant as a ‘consummate liar’. “You can’t help yourself [from] telling lies.”

He urged de Banks to take a different course in life: “You seem determined to spend as much as your adult life as you can in prison. You only have yourself to blame for the position that you’re in.”

April 2019

Pervertwho groomed child online is spared jail term

A pervert who groomed a boy online inciting him to perform sex acts has been spared jail.

The 15-year old victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was so traumatised he later took an overdose of paracetamol, a court heard yesterday.

Joshua De-Banks, of Three Corners Road, Oxford, had already admitted sexual communication with a child and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The 20-year old appeared at Oxford Crown Court for sentencing yesterday.

The court heard that De-Banks was caught out after police seized his iPhone last year during an investigation and a string of messages to one child victim were discovered.

Among the messages De-Banks asked the boy to engage in sex acts and naked images were also discovered.

During interview De-Banks initially denied any wrong doing and falsely claimed that his victim was in fact a 22-year old flight attendant.

He later admitted both counts before his sentencing yesterday.

He was handed a 24-month jail term for the two offences, suspended for two years and made subject to a community order.

That order will include 35 rehabilitation activity requirements days, 120 hours of unpaid work, a condition of residence and participation in the Horizon programme, aimed at tackling his offending.

He must also pay a victim surcharge and sign the sex offenders register for life.