July 2021

Paedophile seen watching children at Devon play park facing jail

A paedophile from Torquay is facing jail after he was seen watching children at a play park.

Gary Loftus was banned from going near children under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order but broke it by visiting the park in South Devon

He has already been jailed once for breaking the order by befriending a family with children without telling them he was a registered sex offender

A judge at Exeter Crown Court ordered a fact-finding hearing into the new case because 67-year-old Loftus claims he walked past the playground rather than stopping and leering at the children.

Judge Timothy Rose said that one witness saw Loftus standing behind a wall near the play area and touching himself sexually for up to an hour.

He said it would make a substantial difference to the sentence but warned Loftus that he is almost certainly going to jail when the case returns to court next month.

He said: ”We need to resolve the issue of whether he was hanging around for an hour and masturbating or just walking past and glancing at the children.

“He can stay on bail, but that is no indication of sentence. It is just about impossible to think of any other outcome other than a prison sentence.”

Loftus, aged 67, of of Wellesley Road, Torquay, admitted two counts of breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.