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Posts Tagged ‘sexual harm prevention order’

Post-Conviction Behaviour SHPO

Post-Conviction Behaviour SHPO


We were instructed recently by a gentleman who had concerns about a possible application for a post-conviction SHPO (Sexual Harm Prevention Order).  He instructed us to investigate whether there were reasonable grounds for this application to be made and whether it seemed likely that he would receive a post-conviction behaviour SHPO.


Sexual Harm Prevention Orders are Orders that can be imposed against convicted sexual offenders.  They are not imposed automatically upon every conviction for sexual offences, and there are specific rules that must be followed to determine whether an Application should be granted or not.


Our client had only become aware of the potential Application because of a chance conversation with the Social Worker working with his family. 


He was incredibly worried.  He maintained the position that he was innocent, and had already found his life and reputation damaged by the conviction.  Now, the possibility of a post-conviction behaviour SHPO threatened to further ruin his life.


He instructed Forrest Williams to investigate whether there were grounds for the application.


We thoroughly reviewed the whole of his case and discussed the matter with him in detail, and were confident that there were in fact no grounds for a post-conviction behaviour SHPO to be applied for.


We decided to go further than this, however.


We set out our position in detail to the Officer in the Case and received a telephone call from him the next day.


The application for the post-conviction behaviour SHPO had been listed in the Crown Court for the next day.  Our client had not been informed.


However, upon receipt of our letter and a further discussion, the officer spoke to senior colleagues who researched the matter and accepted that they in fact did not have grounds to make the application.  The officer assured us that the hearing would be withdrawn and the matter was concluded.


We informed our client who was delighted and thanked us for being the only professional firm he had dealt with who actually listened to his concerns, returned his calls and treated him with respect.


This should have resolved the matter, however there was more to come.


The next morning at 8am, we were contacted by another police officer to advise that the hearing would go ahead after all – at 10am.


We were, of course, not at all happy with this and felt that this complete turnaround was grossly unfair to our client.


We contacted the Crown Court and set out our position, advising that there were no grounds for the post-conviction behaviour SHPO application to be made and, as such, we would ask that the matter be dismissed.  If, however, there was any chance of the Application being allowed, we would ask that the matter be adjourned to allow sufficient time for us to prepare and organise representation for our client.


We were delighted to be informed that the Judge had considered the matter and, due to our correspondence, had refused the Application.


We were completely correct – there were no grounds for a post-conviction behaviour SHPO to be made. 


Our client remains delighted to have this behind him, and we have encouraged him to Appeal against the conviction.


As a legal team, Forrest Williams are experts on intricate legal matters.  We are also resourceful, intuitive and quick to take action.  We’re human too, and we know how much it means to have someone who listens, understands, returns your calls, and supports you without judging you.


If you need legal help, call us now 01623 397200




What Is A Sexual Harm Prevention Order?

What Is A Sexual Harm Prevention Order?


Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs) replaced the sexual offences prevention order. They are a measure available to the court to use to protect the general public or specific members of the public against serious sexual harm.


The court can only impose such an order if they are satisfied that the order is necessary and that the order is made specifically to protect a person or sector or the public.


A Sexual Harm Prevention Order can be made by the magistrates court or Crown Court at the point of sentencing for a sexual or violent crime, or following a complaint made about a person previously convicted of a sexual offence where their behavior suggests that they may re-offend.


A full risk assessment of the defendant must be carried out before an Order is made, and once made, an Order will most likely be in force for several years together with separate requirements including a disqualification from working with children. The imposing of an Order will make the defendant subject to the sex offenders register, even if they were not previously on the register.


Breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order is a separate penalty and carries a sentence of up to five years imprisonment.


Draft proposals for these Orders should be prepared and submitted by the prosecution in advance of the SHPO hearing, something that often does not happen and requires assertive advocacy to remedy.


A Sexual Harm Prevention Order may prohibit a defendant from doing anything set out in the order, but these requirements should only be made due to necessity and for public protection.


There are restrictions on the prohibitions that an Order can impose, with disproportionate prohibitions such as not allowing the defendant to own a computer being unjustifiable.


If you need any assistance with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, call our expert team on01623 397200.

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