Sexual Harm Prevention Orders

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders

1
SHARE

Commencement and repeal

On 8 March 2015, SOPOs, Foreign Travel Orders and Risk of Sexual Harm Orders were repealed. See Sexual Offences Prevention Orders for details. The orders are available from 8 March 2015 irrespective of the date of the offence, save for where an application was made for a SOPO prior to that date, in which case the saving provisions preserve the power of the court to impose a SOPO and an SHPO is not available.

Availability and test to apply

A court may make an order where:

a) it deals with the defendant in respect of:

i) an offence listed in SOA 2003 Sch.3 or 5, or

ii) a finding that the defendant is not guilty of an offence listed in Sch.3 or 5 by reason of insanity, or

iii) a finding that the defendant is under a disability and has done the act charged against the defendant in respect of an offence listed in Sch.3 or 5, SOA 2003 s.103A(1) and (2).

The court must be satisfied that the order is necessary for the purpose of:

a) protecting the public or any particular members of the public from sexual harm from the defendant, or

b) protecting children or vulnerable adults generally, or any particular children or vulnerable adults, from sexual harm from the defendant outside the UK, SOA 2003 s.103A(2)(b).

Prohibitions

A sexual harm prevention order prohibits the defendant from doing anything described in the order, SOA 2003 s.103C(1).

The order may specify that some of its prohibitions have effect until further order and some for a fixed period. Different periods for different prohibitions may be specified, SOA 2003 s.103C(3).

Prohibitions must be necessary for the purpose of:

a) protecting the public or any particular members of the public from sexual harm from the defendant, or

b) protecting children or vulnerable adults generally, or any particular children or vulnerable adults, from sexual harm from the defendant outside the UK, SOA 2003 s.103C(4).

Length of the order

A prohibition may have effect:

a) for a fixed period of at least five years, or

b) until further order, SOA 2003 s.103C(2).

Foreign travel prohibition

A prohibition on foreign travel contained in an order must be for a fixed period of not more than five years, SOA 2003 s.103D(1). A prohibition on foreign travel is one that prohibits travel to any country outside the UK, to any country outside the UK as specified or other than specified. Where an order prohibits travel to any country outside the UK, the order must also require the defendant to surrender all his passports, SOA 2003 s.103D(1)-(4). This is in essence bringing the now repealed Foreign Travel Order within the SOPO, simplifying the regime.

Notification requirements

Where a sexual harm prevention order is made in respect of a defendant who was subject to notification requirements under SOA 2003 immediately before the making of the order, and the defendant would cease to be subject to those notification requirements while the order has effect, the defendant remains subject to the notification requirements, SOA 2003 ss.80(2) and 103G(1).

Where a sexual harm prevention order is made in respect of a defendant who was not subject to notification requirements under SOA 2003 immediately before the making of the order the order causes the defendant to become subject to the notification requirements under SOA 2003 from the making of the order until the order (as renewed from time to time) ceases to have effect, SOA 2003 s.80(2) and 103G(2).

Appeals 

A defendant may appeal against the making of an order “as if the order were a sentence”, SOA 2003 s.103H(1).

Variations and renewals

An order may be renewed, or varied so as to impose additional prohibitions on the defendant, only if it is necessary to do so for the purpose of:

a) protecting the public or any particular members of the public from sexual harm from the defendant, or

b) protecting children or vulnerable adults generally, or any particular children or vulnerable adults, from sexual harm from the defendant outside the UK.

A defendant may appeal against the variation or renewal or the refusal to make such an order:

(a) where the application for such an order was made to the Crown Court, to the Court of Appeal;

(b) in any other case, to the Crown Court, SOA 2003 s.103H(3).

Interim orders 

An interim order is not available in post-conviction cases, see SOA 2003 s.103F.

Breach 

A person who, without reasonable excuse, does anything prohibited by a sexual harm prevention order. This includes a requirement to surrender all passports where a foreign travel prohibition prohibiting travel to any country outside the UK is included in an order, SOA 2003 s.103I(1) and (2). The maximum sentence is five years’ imprisonment, SOA 2003 s.103I(3).

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY