A British father of two said on Wednesday that a bizarre court order, banning him from having sex unless he tells police 24 hours in advance, had ruined his life.
The 45 year old man had an interim Sexual Risk Order (SRO) imposed on him shortly after he was cleared by a crown court jury of raping a woman. Since last December, he has been legally obliged to tell police the name, address and date of birth of any woman he intends to engage in “sexual activity” with at least one day in advance.
The former IT consultant is also banned from making any phone calls, sending text messages or using any communications device unless “fully operational internet offending prevention and detection software” has been installed by police.
He said the action by North Yorkshire Police had wrecked any chance of him enjoying a private life and stopped him working. The man, who cannot be named, had spent 14 months in custody accused of a crime he was cleared of, and said that in his view taking out the SRO was “malicious” and “sour grapes” by the police because they failed to convict him.
He said that, until his rape trial, he had never been to court and had “not even had a parking ticket”. The man said: ”It is so unjust. There’s not a conviction to my name and they can just shoot me down and create this virtual prison. I had more freedom in prison. I’m really bitter. I cannot believe this is how the justice system works.” Commenting on the chances of another sexual relationship, he said: “There’s no point in even trying.
To abide by the terms of the order he would have to give full details of a potential sexual partner to police in advance. He said: “Can you imagine 24 hours before sex saying, ‘There’s a nice French restaurant and then police are just going to come round to have a little chat.’ So that’s it for relationships.”
The man, who cannot currently be named, was acquitted of rape by a jury at Teesside Crown Court last November after little more than one hour’s deliberation. He was accused of raping a woman he knew in her home in July 2014. He claimed the sex was consensual. The jury heard from a former partner who said he liked violent sex and enjoyed role playing. On Wednesday the man said he had previously gone with a casual sexual partner to a university “fetish society” when he was a mature student and had indulged in ‘S&M’.
Weeks after the trial, North Yorkshire Police successfully applied to Northallerton magistrates’ court for the “interim” SRO. A district judge will decide in August whether a full order should be imposed. The case is believed to be the first of its kind and follows new rules introduced last year giving police the power to restrict the freedom of potential sex offenders – even those never convicted.
A police spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police will only make an application to the court for a Sexual Risk Order in circumstances where it is considered necessary to do so to protect the public from the risk of sexual harm. “The full details of this case cannot be provided for the man’s own protection, but we are satisfied that our actions are justified.”