Successful discharge of a SOPO (SHPO) at St Albans Crown Court

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Nick Titchener

Managing Partner

indecent image conviction

Our client was a 48-year-old man who had been convicted back in 2005 of offences concerning Indecent Images of Children for which he received a custodial sentence. In 2008 for the same offences the Judge proceeded to impose a lengthy 3-year Probation Order but also a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for an indefinite period of time with a requirement to remain on the “sex offenders register” alongside that. The conditions imposed were onerous, no doubt due to the sequence of offences.

However, since this time things had changed dramatically for our client and he sought our assistance to apply to discharge to the SOPO, now otherwise known as a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO). From our Specialist Private Client Team in St Albans, Paul Dillon was instructed to deal.

Our client had recently got re-married and had made significant steps to move on with his life, also now in a consultancy role with his employer whereby the SOPO and restrictions caused by being on the Register were causing real concerns. These problems our client was experiencing were acknowledged by our client’s PPU Officer who recognised and accepted the steps that our client had taken to be rehabilitated. The Registration and SOPO restrictions were causing issues as far as our client’s ability to travel and were limiting his career progression.


Having secured the support of our client’s PPU, we were able to successfully show to the Crown Court that the SOPO and Registration requirements were unnecessary and the court was persuaded on hearing our Application to Discharge the SOPO meaning that the Registration requirements also ceased to apply. Our client expressed the view that he felt he could finally move on with his life.

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