Lee Ansell – Oxford

January 2023

Jail for Oxfordshire sex offender comfortable with ‘fantasy world’

A repeat sex-offender said to retreat into a ‘fantasy world’ online when stressed breached a court order within days of being released from prison.

Lee Ansell, 38, was released from prison on July 15 last year, having been recalled on a sentence imposed for having indecent images.

He almost immediately bought a new computer and dongle enabling him to access the web.

Ansell then failed to tell the police about his new purchases in breach of a sexual harm prevention order designed to limit his internet access.

Staff at his bail hostel notified the police that Ansell was using the computer and he was arrested on July 18, three days after his release from prison.

When he was interviewed by detectives, the former Marks and Spencer’s warehouse worker came clean about using the computer to access sexualised stories involving children. He told police they would find hyper-realistic images of children.

Despite the admissions, backlogs meant it was six months before forensics specialist could analyse the computer and Ansell was charged with possession of prohibited images of children.

Robert Lindsey, prosecuting, said the 277 images included photo-realistic pictures of children in sexualised poses. The images had been created and the children were not real, hence why Ansell was not charged with possession of indecent images.

Analysis by the police showed Ansell had been looking at websites containing short stories in which adults were involved in sexual liaisons with children, Oxford Crown Court heard.

Ansell, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to breaching his sexual harm prevention order and possession of prohibited images of children

Sending him to prison for two years, Judge Nigel Daly told Ansell: “Although you have been given sentences within the community, sentences which have been suspended as well as immediate prison sentences, they have had no effect on you whatsoever.

“The only mitigating circumstance is that you pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.”

August 2022

More jail time ‘almost inevitable’ for sex offender’s order breach

A sex offender who bought a laptop in breach of a court order the day after he was released from prison was warned that further jail time was ‘almost inevitable’.

Lee Ansell, 37, candidly told detectives he bought the computer in order to access indecent images of children and download ‘paedophilic stories’.  

He arrived at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday morning expecting to learn his fate, having pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court last month to breaching his sexual harm prevention order by buying the laptop and internet dongle from the CEX electronics games exchange.

But Judge Ian Pringle QC adjourned the case until November after he was told it could take up to eight weeks for the device to be checked for illicit material – despite a request by a detective sergeant that the device was fast-tracked through the system.

Remanding Ansell in custody and ordering a pre-sentence report, the judge said: “I make it clear that report is to concentrate on the work he may be doing [to address a ‘problem’ with looking at indecent images of children’] whilst in custody, because custody is really almost inevitable in this case.”

Last month, Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard that Ansell had been released from prison on July 15 after an earlier sentence imposed at Reading Crown Court.

Within 24 hours, he had gone to Reading from his bail hostel in Oxford to buy a laptop and a dongle that could connect the computer to the internet.

He failed to tell the police about the new internet-enabled devices in breach of the sexual harm prevention order, which was originally imposed for possession of child sex abuse material.

Officers were alerted by bail hostel staff concerned that he was using the computer in his bedroom.

Interviewed by detectives, he admitted using an internet website he had previously accessed in order to look at indecent images of children and download what was described as ‘paedophilic stories’.

Told by prosecutor Jonathan Stone on Tuesday that the purchases came so soon after his release from prison, Judge Pringle described it as ‘breath-taking’.

Ansell, of no fixed address, appeared in the dock wearing a grey prison-issue tracksuit and a grey beard. He spoke only to confirm his name.

A previous sentence, which he served at HMP Bullingdon, was said to have been too short for him to qualify for courses aimed at rehabilitating sex offenders.

Ansell will return to court for sentencing on November 3.

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