York & North Yorkshire

24-hour sex ban man John O'Neill 'lost touch with children'

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJohn O'Neill: Effects have been 'devastating'

A man who must notify police 24 hours before he has sex has said his children have stopped contacting him.

John O'Neill, from York, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme it "must be horrific" for them to see his sexual predilections shared online.

Mr O'Neill, who said he had an interest in sado-masochism, was cleared of rape last year but subjected to the order and could be jailed if he ignores it.

North Yorkshire Police said it was satisfied the order was proportionate.

Mr O'Neill said he had not had sex since the restrictions were imposed on him.

'Amazed' by order

He said the interim sexual risk order (SRO) had resulted in a "devastating" effect on his personal life, saying his children - who are aged 12 and 16 and live abroad - had deleted him on Facebook.

He claimed one of his friends "has been threatened with being fired [from her job], just because she knows me".

Mr O'Neill's identity was made public last week after an order protecting his anonymity was lifted at York Magistrates Court.

In June he had threatened to go on hunger strike in protest at the restrictions.

The SRO requires Mr O'Neill to disclose any planned sexual activity to the police or face up to five years in prison.

SROs can be applied to any individual who the police believe poses a risk of sexual harm - even if they have never been convicted of a crime. But Mr O'Neill said he was "amazed" the police sought one after his acquittal.

"It is the only crime I have ever been accused of," he said.

'Trial in miniature'

The police applied for the order in part after the judge at the rape trial called Mr O'Neill "dangerous". The father-of-two denied being dangerous and said the police had misinterpreted the judge's words.

He is to have a full hearing in August, when magistrates will decide whether to impose a longer order of up to five years.

Mr O'Neill described it as a "rape trial in miniature" with the same witnesses and evidence.

He said the SRO had effectively allowed police "to ignore [the court's] verdict."

He said he had not had sex since the order was imposed, but stands accused of breaching another of the SRO conditions by not giving police the pin number to his mobile phone.

North Yorkshire Police said in a statement it "will only make an application to the court for a Sexual Risk Order in circumstances where it is considered necessary to do so to protect the public from the risk of sexual harm".

The Victoria Derbyshire programme is broadcast on weekdays from 09:00-11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites