Man who must give 24 hours' notice before having sex loses legal fight

John O'Neill will remain under a Sexual Risk Order but its conditions are likely to change

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The Independent Online

A man ordered to give police 24 hours' notice before having sex with a new partner has lost his legal fight to have restrictions on his private life lifted.

North Yorkshire Police argued John O’Neill, 45, remained a risk to the public and should stay subject to the Sexual Risk Order (SRO), he was placed on in 2015, after being cleared of rape in a retrial. Despite being acquitted, the judge said at the time he believed Mr O'Neill to be a "very dangerous individual", leading to the SRO. 

However, District Judge Adrian Lower said on Friday the terms of the order will be amended at a future hearing.

He added the condition that Mr O'Neill gives the police 24 hours' notice before he starts sexual contact with a new partner was "frankly unpoliceable".

Mr O'Neill is also subject to surveillance as part of the SRO. 

York Magistrates' Court heard he made a series of worrying confessions to his GP and a psychiatric nurse, including choking a woman unconscious, thinking "a lot" about killing her and that he needed women "to be scared or I don't respond".

Dr Miriam Hodgson recorded that his "sex life has become violent, has been seeking out increasingly extreme sexual experiences, biting, choking, cutting, burning".

He and a woman also discussed rape and six months later he put the "plan" into action and left the woman bruised.

The GP wrote: "Thinks he may have raped someone, it went further than she expected."

Dr Hodgson also recorded her patient had tried to kill himself by starving himself, dehydrating, crossing the road without looking and getting into fights with gangs of men.

She wrote: "Patient thinks he is dangerous and needs to be stopped."

Despite not having been convicted of a crime, Mr O’Neill said his rape charge had ruined his life and he now lives in a tent in the woods. 

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