In March 2015, Martin Kidd was sentenced to three years in prison for grooming three girls aged 14 and 15. This was against a backdrop of similar offending over the last few years.
This month (May 2015), he was made the subject of a SHPO (Sexual Harm Prevention Order) – a relatively new order that is a replacement for the ‘old’ Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
So far, so normal. What is unusual here is the terms of the Order. Some of the terms are a prohibition from:
- owning any vehicle
- using more than one mobile phone, computer or other electronic equipment to access the internet
- being in the same car as a child under 16 without an adult in charge of the car
- living or staying in the same house as a child
- having unsupervised contact with any child under 16 without permission from the child’s parents
These, apart from the first one, are fairly standard for someone who is a high risk offender. The order banning Mr Kidd from owning any vehicle is one that, as far as we are aware, have never been made before.
We imagine that this will be appealed. Is it ‘necessary’ to ban Mr Kidd from owning a car? It is unclear that this is the case. As someone who doesn’t own a car, I find it strange when people say that they are ‘essential’, but many people would think so.
Also, can it be said that a lesser restriction would not suffice?
There is also an issue about the limitation on Mr Kidd’s access to technology. It is hard to imagine how someone could actually play a part in much of modern life without access to it.
In light of that, whilst it is obvious that Mr Kidd’s internet usage should be limited and monitored, is the seeming prohibition on owning a phone and a computer a reasonable one? It is, in fairness, unclear whether this is limited to just one of each (which may be reasonable) or not.
If there is an appeal, then we will find out.