Imposition of a sexual risk order on a young person with special educational needs resisted

The court rejected an application by the police to impose a “sexual risk order” on a young person with special educational needs who had been accused, but not convicted of, a number of serious sexual offences against children. 

Daniella Waddoup (instructed by David Bloom of Sonn Macmillan Walker) made detailed written and oral submissions on the relevant law and guidance, including that which militates against the criminalisation of young people and demands a focus on emotional development and maturity, as well as chronological age. 

The court scrutinised the evidence in relation to each of the allegations and found that it could only be satisfied that the defendant had engaged in one of the sexual acts alleged. This, combined with the fact that the defendant was a young person with concrete plans for a meaningful career, led the court to conclude that it was not necessary to impose on him a preventative order that would significantly curtail his liberty and have the effect of drawing him into the criminal justice system.