LONDON – A judge in United Kingdom has banned a man to have sex without giving police 24hrs notice despite he was tried and cleared of rape last year.
John O’Neill, 45, has also very publicly been branded a sexual predator ‘who is a risk to any woman who crosses his path’.
The father-of-two is unemployed and struggling to survive on state handouts. He is single. Having separated, his partner has moved to America, taking the children with her.
O’Neill claims he is the innocent victim of a conspiracy involving everyone from a former female friend to his GP and the police, the Mail Online reported.
All he was ever guilty of, he insists, was to indulge in a bit of light sado-masochism, or S&M – the sort of thing featured in the blockbusting Fifty Shades Of Grey series of books.
But police are so concerned at the risk they say he poses that they have been granted stringent controls on the way he conducts his day-to-day life.
Sexual Risk Order
As well as monitoring his online activities around the clock, they have secured a controversial court order that requires him to give the police 24-hour notice if he intends to have sex. He must inform them of the woman’s name and address, so allowing officers to warn her in advance of any intimate contact.
In December, magistrates granted police what is known as a Sexual Risk Order (SRO). Brought under a new law, SROs are designed to protect the public from potential offenders without convictions who are believed to pose a threat.
The terms of O’Neill’s SRO mainly deal with the imposition of controls on the way he uses the internet on his phone and computer, allowing police to monitor what he has been looking at. He was, for example, banned from deleting his browser history.
He was also ordered to make available for inspection by police ‘any device capable of making phone calls, text messages or used for any other communication purposes’.
But it was the final prohibition that proved the most controversial. It reads: “Engaging in any sexual activity with any female unless this is disclosed to the police force in the area in which you reside. You must disclose the details of any female including her name, address and date of birth. You must do this at least 24 hours prior to any sexual activity taking place.”
O’Neill complains that the practical effect of the order has been two-fold. First, he says he is unable to work. This is because any work he does is computer-based and any computer he uses is liable for ‘inspection’ by police – a disincentive to any potential employers.
Second, he claims the ban on his right to have sex in the normal way is an infringement of his human rights as he has effectively been denied the right to form a relationship.
“I can barely function in any other capacity. Convicted murderers and rapists do not get orders as devastating as this. I was acquitted of the only crime I have ever been accused of,” he told the Mail Online.
In 2007, Mr O’Neill’s life as a family man came to an abrupt end. The relationship with his partner broke down and he moved out of the family home.
After having another few failed yet extremely sexual relationships the man found himself into a spiral of depression.
One of his girlfriends was a member of its fetish society – FetSoc – and introduced Mr O’Neill to the S&M scene.
Among the scenarios they acted out was one in which he would pretend to rape her. She would dress up as a ‘sexy secretary’ and he would take the role of the sinister intruder who, having broken into an office girl’s home, was overcome with lust and forces her to have sex.
In April 2014, suffering from a sore throat and cold, he went to see Dr Miriam Hodgson, a GP. During the consultation, he told her he was suffering from depression and then talked about his sex life in a way that left her so deeply concerned that she feared for her own personal safety.
Looking back, Mr O’Neill claims he was ‘misunderstood’. He assumed the medic knew that he was speaking about consensual role-play rather than confessing to being a ‘rapist in training’.
Four months later O’Neill was accused of rape. District Judge Adrian Lower, who was presiding over the case, hinted that he was minded to lift the 24-hour sex rule when the court reconvenes next month.
In a statement, the North Yorkshire force says: “The judge has made it very clear that he believes Mr O’Neill poses a risk of sexual harm, and that it is right to have an order against him in place.”
But what shape that order will ultimately take, only time will tell.