Tuesday 20 March 2018

Man who has to give police 24 hours notice when he intends to have sex is now living rough in woods

John O'Neill
John O'Neill
John O'Neil, who has to give police 24 hours notice before he has sex with a new partner and is appearing in court today to have the order lifted

Tom Wilkinson

A man due to appear in court to challenge an order requiring him to give police 24 hours notice before he has sex with a new partner says he is currently living rough in a wood.

IT consultant John O'Neill said he has been unable to claim unemployment benefit because he is subject to the Sexual Risk Order.

Mr O'Neill, 45, was made subject to an interim order, with a number of conditions attached, even though he was cleared of rape following a retrial in November.

Mr O'Neill, who has previously admitted to having an interest in sado-masochism and used to attend a Fifty Shades of Grey-style fetish club, claimed the order breached his human rights and said he had no prospect of forming a relationship while he lived by its terms.

The former mature English literature student, a single father of two, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme he is now camping in a tent in a wood near York.

He said: "I was homeless before for four years. I thought all this was behind me. To have to go back to it, it has been a bit of a shock. But to be honest I'm entirely focused on the hearing and I'm not thinking about much else."

Conditions of the order include him having to hand over the PIN for his mobile phone to police, and not to use internet-connected devices which cannot be later checked by officers.

He said he has been unable to work or claim benefits because of these restrictions.

North Yorkshire Police will apply to the district judge sitting at York Magistrates' Court to make the order against Mr O'Neill permanent.

He said his history of S and M sex was brought up at the rape 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 he wanted to do and what was just fantasy.

Police thought what he told the doctor was a confession, he claimed.

He said he had no criminal record, "not even a parking ticket".

He has previously said: "I don't have a life, I cannot work, I cannot have any form of relationship, it's absolutely ridiculous."

Mr O'Neill attended court unshaven and wearing jeans and an open-necked shirt.

He was representing himself in court, telling reporters he did not have Legal Aid as he had lost his right to benefits.

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