On 28 July 2021 at St Albans Crown Court, our client pleaded guilty to three counts of producing indecent images of children, contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Children Act 1978. The court went on to sentence him to a community order of 12 months and made him the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 5 years an automatic notification requirement.
Following the sentence, Counsel Drea Becker of 9BR Chambers and our expert in-house team in our St Albans Office advised our client that there were grounds for appeal against the sentence imposed on 03 September 2021, specifically relating to the imposition of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Grounds of appeal were subsequently lodged, on the basis that the Judge appeared to have erred in her assessment of the test for the imposition of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, namely that of necessity and proportionality. Whilst our client had been convicted of a relevant offence, it was submitted that the particular circumstances of this case (time elapsed since the offence, the age at the time of the offence, and the Probation Service’s assessment of risk) did not meet the high test that has to be satisfied before such an order is made.
Leave to appeal was granted by the Single Judge.
The case was listed before the Court of Appeal on the 28th of January 2022. Following submission, their ladyships and lordship concluded that the Sexual Harm Prevention Order should not have been imposed in this case. Accordingly, the client is no longer subject to any such order. The Court further confirmed that our client was also no longer subject to the notification requirements. The Appeal was allowed.
A powerful authority and illustration of why and how an SHPO can be challenged in certain circumstances and having an expert team of lawyers can help to achieve that.