Sexual offences come in many shapes and form. Recent, historic, young and old.
Sentencing guidelines cater for the whole range. From the drunken yet inexcusable opportunist touching to the most vile sickening abuse of children. The whole range of disposals are available from cautions to sentences in excess of 30 years.
The less well known consequences for offenders are that those who are released from custody or have finished their community sentences still have restrictions on their liberty many years after the offence itself.
These predominantly take the form of notification i.e. signing the register (notification requirements) and civil orders known as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO) or as they were previously known as Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO). These two orders, notification and prevention are usually imposed at the same time.
Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO)
The Civil Orders are less well know. They often prevent those who have been convicted from having unfettered access to the internet or unsupervised contact with children. My experience is that these restrictions cause little if any inconvenience to those who are still subject to them, if their intentions are non criminal.
Notification Requirements – Sex Offenders Registers
However being subject to notification requirements can often cause clients considerable difficulties, particularly if they work away from home. I have recently advised a long distance lorry driver on this point. This is aside from the stigma attached.
I have advised many clients who have been subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Orders long after their notification period had expired. This is because the length of the prevention order is at the discretion of the Judge whereas the length of notification is laid down by statute. However due to the insertion of Section 103G (1) of the 2003 Sexual Offences Act whilst the civil order has effect the offender remains subject to notification requirements
This has led to many people still being on the register months and years after the court had ordered the notification to end. This can’t have been the intention of the Sentencing Court.
Can you vary a Sexual Harm Prevention Order?
If you are one of those people still on the Register after the period your notification should have ended then you are entitled to make an application under Section 103 Sexual Offences Act to have the order discharged or varied.
Do you need advice relating to Notification Requirements or Sexual Harm Prevention Orders?
If you need general advice regarding notification requirements or Sexual Harm Prevention Orders or require any further information please contact Ruth Peters at Olliers Solicitors on 0161 8341515 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.