Man loses appeal to keep violence secret

Londonderry Magistrate's Court
Image caption A VOPO is a civil prevention order which a court can issue to offenders who pose a risk of serious violent harm to the public

A Belfast man has lost an appeal against a court ruling ordering him to disclose his record of violence against women if he enters a relationship.

Gary Woods, 27, of Innis Hostel in Belfast, was given Northern Ireland's first Violent Offences Prevention Order (VOPO) in January.

It was imposed on him at the request of Chief Constable George Hamilton.

The unsuccessful appeal hearing took place at the Bishop Street Courthouse in Londonderry.

A VOPO is a civil prevention order which a court can issue to offenders who pose a risk of serious violent harm to the public.

'Kidnapping'

Under the terms of the order, Woods must also only live at an address approved by the Probation Service, and is banned from having a mobile phone, a SIM card or any device with internet accessibility.

His criminal record, of 26 previous convictions, includes three serious assaults, one kidnapping, one false imprisonment and one common assault.

All of his victims were vulnerable young women with whom he had a relationship.

The judge said he was satisfied that the VOPO should run for three years.

At the request of a barrister representing Mr Hamilton, the judge added a further condition to the order that Woods must not delete any history from any mobile phone or SIM card or from any other device used for communication purposes.