BBC and several other UK news sources recently reported that a 45 year-old father of two from North Yorkshire, UK, was given an incredibly severe penalty even after being declared innocent of rape: he has to notify the UK government at least 24 hours beforehand whenever he is to have sex.
The case in which the UK man, left unnamed due to legal constraints, was found innocent took place several years ago, but it was only recently that the man announced to the UK courts his plans to go on a hunger strike to protest what he sees as a grossly unjust ruling. As he puts it, the penalty the UK courts assigned him, which falls under the category of what is known in the UK legal system as a “sexual risk order” (SRO), is “unlawful in almost every syllable.”
In a statement he released to the UK media about his predicament, the man claims that he does not meet the clearly defined criteria for an SRO but that it has been affecting his life in a very negative way ever since the punishment was assigned to him.
“I protest that even though a jury found me unanimously not guilty, after nearly two years I still find myself being punished for a crime that never happened.”
Basically, there was not enough evidence against the man to where the UK courts could verify his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They did not, therefore, send him to one of the UK’s overcrowded jails for his alleged rape, but needless to say, they did impose quite a severe penalty.
“The law has been misapplied deliberately by North Yorkshire Police out of sour grapes over being shown to be prejudicial and incompetent in their investigation of the original complaint against me,” the man said of his UK “oppressors.”
“I have no life under this order. This order condemns me to a life alone and without work. I have seen nothing but bitter injustice these last two years.”
Although he has children, the 45 year-old IT man is unmarried, and dating when spontaneous sex is off the table is nearly impossible, especially in the UK dating scene.
“Can you imagine, 24 hours before sex? Come on,” the UK man pleaded, according to ITV.
He then imagined out loud what the process of disclosing his burden to a potential mate might be like.
“There’s a nice French restaurant I’d like to take you to, but first the police are just going to come around for a little chat,” the UK man mused. “Knock, knock, knock, this is the police, (Mr. X) is subject to a Sexual Risk Order and is considered to be potentially dangerous… Then they leave.”
To be fair, though, the UK man’s sexual history is rather fraught with deviant activity, albeit not of the illegal variety, even apart from the alleged rape. In fact, he confessed that he used to be heavily into the world of sadomasochism and even frequented a UK nightclub that he compared to a set out of 50 Shades of Grey along with an ex-partner.
SROs are a special kind of civil order UK magistrates can assign to apprehended individuals even if they are not convicted. The UK man’s specific SRO stipulates, according to the ITV piece, that the man cannot use any devices connected to the web — even the seemingly harmless ones like smart TVs are fancy coffee makers — unless the UK police force can check the activity later. It also says that the man cannot use PAs or intercoms.
The man is accusing the UK authorities of deliberately misapplying the SRO because they have some sort of vendetta against him, and he is set to begin his hunger strike on Wednesday.
The man’s case will also be heard again before a UK magistrate on July 14 and before a full UK court on August 19 in order to determine if enforcement of the SRO should continue. Only time will tell if the UK man’s hunger strike will succeed in getting it revoked.
[Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images]