A MAN who has to give police 24 hours’ notice before he has sex despite being cleared of a rape charge has said: “It puts an end to your life”.
The single man, in his 40s, admitted to previously having an interest in sado-masochistic sex and used to visit a Fifty Shades Of Grey-style fetish club with an ex-partner. He also said he used to go on Tinder and “played around”.
But the man, a father, denied having any criminal convictions, “not even a parking ticket”, when he spoke to reporters following an adjourned hearing at York Magistrates’ Court.
He accused North Yorkshire Police of “sour grapes” in applying for a Sexual Risk Order (SRO) after he was acquitted of rape.
He was cleared at a retrial, having spent 14 months on remand.
The terms of the SRO, currently an interim order which the police will apply to be made permanent at a hearing in August, has a list of conditions attached.
Among them is the requirement for him to inform police 24 hours before he has sex with a new partner.
The effect has been to devastate his personal life, he said, and contravened his human rights.
He said: “It puts an end to your life.
“I had more freedom in prison.
“The severity of the restrictions exceed what convicted criminals would get on a Sexual Offence Prevention Order.”
He said there was “no prospect” of a relationship at the moment.
He said: “Can you imagine, 24 hours before sex? Come on.”
He gave the example of chatting to a woman and saying: “There’s a nice French restaurant I’d like to take you to, but first the police are just going to come around for a little chat.”
He said the disclosure process to a potential partner would be “horrendous”, saying: “Knock, knock, knock, this is the police, (Mr X) is subject to a Sexual Risk Order and is considered to be potentially dangerous ... Then they leave.”
The man, who cannot be identified by the media, said the SRO was made after he was cleared of raping a woman - different from the one with whom he visited the fetish club.
He said the jury at the retrial took an hour and six minutes to unanimously clear him.
He said: “We wiped the floor with them.”
He had been accused of biting and scratching the complainant, but he said the scratching came during a massage, “post-coitally”, and there was no biting.
His history of S and M sex was brought up at the trial, including evidence from a doctor with whom he had discussed his past.
He claimed the doctor misunderstood what he was discussing, saying she was confused about what was just fantasy.
Police thought what he told the doctor was a confession.
“Thank God 50 Shades of Grey came out when it did, it helped my barrister normalise that,” he said.
“The police, if they lose in court, are using these Sexual Risk Orders as a tool, by stealth.
“The standards of proof are so much lower. You don’t even have to break the law.”
He has been charged with breaching the terms of the order by refusing to give police the PIN to his phone.
He decided, having taken legal advice, not to give them the code as a point of principle, because he said the terms of an SRO were supposed to be prohibitive, not obligatory.
He was arrested and held in police custody overnight.
The terms of his SRO mean he cannot use any internet-enabled device that cannot be later checked by police.
He said that banned him from using certain fridges and lifts that are connected to the web. The wording of the order also stops him from using an intercom such as those used to get into a nursery or a flat.
He said: “I’m in a state of shock, I cannot believe this is how the justice system works.
“I thought the police were interested in finding out the truth, the only thing the police are interested in is securing convictions.”
He added: “It’s so unjust, there is not a conviction to my name - one allegation, acquitted and they can still shut you down.
“They can create this virtual prison.”
The case will be back before York Magistrates on July 14 before a full hearing on August 19.
SRO’s can be applied to any individual who the police believe poses a risk of sexual harm, even if they have never been convicted of a crime.
They are civil orders imposed by magistrates at the request of police.
North Yorkshire Police said it would ask for a Sexual Risk Order only when it was considered necessary “to protect the public from the risk of sexual harm”.
A spokesman said: “The full details of this case cannot be provided for the man’s own protection, but we are satisfied that our actions are justified.”