York & North Yorkshire

Sex ban man John O'Neill loses appeal against order

John O'Neill Image copyright PA
Image caption John O'Neill was attempting to have his Sexual Risk Order lifted

A man who must notify police 24 hours before he has sex has lost his legal battle to have the restriction lifted.

John O'Neill, from York, was cleared of rape last year but given a Sexual Risk Order (SRO) due to comments he made to a GP and a nurse in 2014.

Mr O'Neill said he had been misunderstood, but police argued he posed a risk to the public.

District Judge Adrian Lower said the terms of the "frankly unpoliceable" order would be amended.

He was particularly critical of the "disproportionate" requirement for Mr O'Neill, 45, to give a day's notice before starting sexual contact with a new partner.

'Vain and manipulative'

However, the judge said Mr O'Neill's evidence during the course of the hearing had made him "increasingly concerned".

"I found him to be a vain, manipulative and grandstanding individual who seeks to persuade me that black is in fact white," he said.

Sex ban man is now sleeping rough

'I've lost touch with my family'

Judge Lower said Mr O'Neill had also displayed a "narcissistic streak".

Speaking after the case, Mr O'Neill, who represented himself in court, said: "Clearly I didn't know what I was doing".

After what he described as a "thoroughly humiliating day", the father-of-two said he hoped the amended order would allow him to find a job.

"I'm homeless, I cannot work, I cannot claim benefits, I need to get back into society somehow."

Image caption John O'Neill has been living rough on the outskirts of York

Mr O'Neill, an IT consultant, told the BBC the order had prevented him from applying for jobs requiring a computer or a telephone and he was currently living in a tent in woodland.

'Violent sex life'

He was cleared of rape at Teeside Crown Court in November last year, but after the jury had been dismissed the judge called him a "very dangerous individual".

North Yorkshire Police (NYP) then applied for the order on the basis of comments he made to health professionals.

During Friday's hearing, the court heard details of confessions to health professionals, which included choking a woman unconscious and thinking "a lot" about killing her.

Responding to the judge's ruling, NYP said the judge had "made it very clear he believes Mr O'Neill poses a risk of sexual harm, and that it is right to have an order against him in place.

It said it would work with the courts to "protect the public from the risk Mr O'Neill poses".

The new terms of the order will be agreed at a hearing on 22 September.

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