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Ex TV presenter jailed for breaching court's child sex order
A FORMER professional golfer and TV commentator has been jailed for flouting child sex orders just weeks after being spared prison.
Ross McFarlane had a suspended sentence order hanging over him and had been banned from being with children earlier this year.
But just four weeks after admitting possessing indecent images of children, he was caught being alone with two youngsters - which he was barred from doing by the earlier court order.
McFarlane's latest offences came to light when the "shocked and horrified" mother of a child who was friends with the defendant's son contacted police after hearing about his sentence.
The 52-year-old, of Stoke Poges, was given an 18 month prison sentence at Aylesbury Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty to three counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
He was also given a ten year order banning him from contact with children under 16 without parental permission and was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.
McFarlane had been made the subject of the order on January 30 and given a suspended ten month prison sentence after admitting possession of 162 indecent images of children.
The court heard McFarlane - a golfing commentator for Sky Sports who was once ranked as the 26th best golfer in the world - had used his X-box to go on the internet in a bid to avoid police monitoring his online computer activity.
Judge Francis Sheridan handed him 12 month sentences for each of the breaches, to run concurrently, and activated a six month suspended prison sentence, to run consecutively, after saying McFarlane's "interest in paedophilic matters is now very much an established pattern".
Addressing the defendant, the judge said: "You had a phenomenally good career. You were a presenter on Sky Sports and other channels.
"Because of your interest in child pornography you have thrown all of that away. The work dried up, of course it did. They're entitled to protect their organisation and children.
"Any further breach and you can expect a longer sentence."
McFarlane was also banned for six years from going within 50 yards of the two schools his son and daughter attend.
Judge Sheridan said: "That is to ensure your children can carry on with their education without other children at their schools or colleges being put at risk.
"Sexual Offences Prevention Orders are there to prevent little ones, not put them at risk.
"If it comes to parents consultation evening it may be that the school will have to have that meeting away from the school premises. The parents of the school will run a mile if they see the defendant."
A Sky Sports spokesman confirmed after the hearing McFarlane would not be used by the company again following his convictions.
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