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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Library sex surfer gets apology
Ceri Randall
Ceri Randall said she saw the man using graphic sex language
A librarian who refused to serve a man she said accessed internet sex sites is unhappy he was issued with an apology.

Ceri Randall, 51, claims she saw a man in Pyle library near Bridgend, using an internet chatroom to write about having sex with librarians.

He was banned from using the library for three months but on his return Mrs Randall refused to serve him.

Bridgend council said it was "not aware of any ongoing issues in respect of this member of the public".

A statement added that there had been "inappropriate use" of internet facilities in the past but there was "no evidence of this being anything other than use of a chatroom".

"This has been investigated by the authority and the police were informed. The use breached the council's own protocol, but was not unlawful," it said.

Mrs Randall has worked as a supervisor at Pyle Life Centre for 21 years.

She said that following her refusal to serve the man after his three month ban, he made a formal complaint to Bridgend Council.

I am not a prude - but I think it is completely unacceptable for people to be viewing sexually explicit material and writing sexual fantasies for internet chat rooms in an area open to children.
Ceri Randall

He was sent an apology by John Woods, the head of library services.

In a letter to the 36-year-old man he said: "I offer a full apology for what happened and assure you that every effort will be made to ensure that such an incident is not repeated.

"The behaviour of the member of staff involved will be further investigated through our internal procedures.

"I am grateful to you for drawing this matter to my attention."

But Mrs Randall, who has been off work for six months suffering from stress said she is angry about the way the matter has been handled.

"It's absolutely crazy. This man is portrayed as the victim while I am seen as the wrong-doer," she said.

"It was suggested to me that I should turn a blind eye.

"But I couldn't do that and in my opinion that would be completely wrong. I feel I have to make a stand.

"I am not a prude - but I think it is completely unacceptable for people to be viewing sexually explicit material and writing sexual fantasies for internet chat rooms in an area open to children.

"This kind of activity should not go on in a public library."

Internet policy

Mrs Randall said that she saw the man using an internet chatroom to write about erotic fantasies involving having sex with librarians which "horrified" her.

After she raised the alarm, the man was banned from using the library for "infringing the internet policy".

Computer experts checked what websites he had visited revealing links to online pornography and it emerged he had also been banned from using a neighbouring library for viewing scenes of bestiality.

The library-user agreement signed by people using the internet says material which is "illegal or likely to cause offence" should not be looked at and it is also forbidden to use offensive language while communicating with others online.

Bridgend Council said the ban was enforced two years ago and it was "surprised" that the issue had been raised with the media.

"The authority has a significant investment in filtering technology and takes issues of the misuse of its facilities extremely seriously. The member of public apologised immediately and accepted the ban."

The council said a member of staff was following its internal grievance procedure.


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