The petitioner was sentenced to 12 years in prison for two charges of rape and two charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous conduct to a girl aged between 12 and 16. 

He was released on license in March 2023. He was subject to multiple conditions, the followings are those that he challenged. 

  • The condition to undertake an assessment by community health services. He argued that there was no rational for this condition being imposed and that using license conditions was not the appropriate tool for mental health support. 
  • The conditions to undergo an assessment for alcohol misuse counselling and a restriction on the electronic devices that the petitioner could own or possess. It was argued that this was unjust as it was imposed without any notice. 
  • One condition prevented the petitioner from entering parks, playgrounds, and other places children under 18 were likely to frequent. This was challenged for its lack of specificity. It was claimed the places described were too vague to be understood. 
  • There was a condition for the petitioner to inform his supervisor of any new friendships, associations, or intimate or domestic relationships. It was again argued that this condition was unfair as it lacked specificity. 

It was further proposed that the restrictions were unduly onerous and as a result breached Articles 5, 8 and 14 of the ECHR. This argument was formed on the basis that the right to be free from discrimination was breached. The comparator being those who suffered with mental health difficulties. 

In his decision, Lord Lake stated that the arguments against the mental health assessment condition are not supported by the evidence and rejected his submission. Lord Lake confirmed that the conditions are imposed to mitigate risk.

With regards the second conditions mentioned, Lord Lake stated that such conditions were regularly used for child sex offenders with a history of alcohol abuse. He continued stating that, “It also suggested that a condition should be imposed that would prevent him from communicating with or approaching any person under the age of 18.”

On the vagueness challenges, Lord Lake said: “As the respondents contend, these are ordinary words and they have a meaning which is readily understood. I do not consider that this issue is to be tested by hypothetical situations which may be said to lie on the border and, in relation to the word ‘parks’, I find the petitioner’s claimed areas of ambiguity stretched and artificial.”

He concluded on Article 14: “Prisoners released on licence require to be managed to mitigate the risk that they may present to the public at large that they will reoffend. That consideration does not apply to the comparator group. That means not only that the comparator group are not truly analogous to the petitioner but also fully justifies the difference in approach in relation to the petitioner and his comparators. I accordingly reject this ground of challenge.”

The challenge against the conditions were therefore refused.