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Man who has to give notice before sex "needs women to be scared” court hears

John O'Neill
John O'Neill

A man who has to give police 24 hours' notice before he has sex with a new partner once told a psychiatric nurse he needed women "to be scared or I don't respond", a court has heard.

John O'Neill, 45, who was once described by a senior judge as a "very dangerous individual", also discussed committing acts of sexual violence during a consultation with the nurse.

Mr O'Neill, an IT consultant currently living rough in a wood, was appearing at York Magistrates' Court for a hearing to decide whether an interim Sexual Risk Order (SRO) should be made permanent or should end.

The single father of two from York is representing himself as he has lost his right to Legal Aid, he told reporters before the hearing.

Mr O'Neill was cleared of rape following a retrial at Teesside Crown Court last year.

Despite this, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC said after the jury was dismissed: "Please could you inform the authorities that although this man has been acquitted, it is my judgment that he is a very dangerous individual."

Oliver Thorne, representing North Yorkshire Police, referred to a consultation Mr O'Neill had with a community psychiatric nurse, Kevin Holmes, to whom he had been referred by his GP.

The nurse gave evidence at the rape trial but was unavailable to attend the hearing before Friday's District Judge Adrian Lower.

The nurse recorded notes from the meeting saying Mr O'Neill had feelings of rage, anger and violence.

"He has been sexually violent to past girlfriends and he was not sure if they consented," Mr Thorne, referring to the notes, said.

In 2010 he noticed a change in himself, Mr Holmes's notes stated, adding "he stopped asking girlfriends if they consented to sex with him".

The nurse noted he was "preoccupied with killing himself and others" and he found the idea "soothing".

He wanted to find a way of killing himself but wanted it to not look like suicide, Mr Holmes wrote, adding: "He thought it would be safer for everyone if he was dead."

The nurse also recorded Mr O'Neill saying: "I need them to be scared or I don't respond" and "I find it difficult to climax".

Mr Holmes also recorded him as saying he saw a TV drama when he was a teenager which featured a prostitute being murdered and he was excited.

Mr Thorne, outlining the police's case, said SROs could be imposed even if there was no conviction.

Mr O'Neill, who has previously admitted to having an interest in sado-masochism and used to attend a Fifty Shades of Grey-style fetish club, had claimed the order breached his human rights and said he had no prospect of forming a relationship while he lived by its terms.

He has previously said: "I don't have a life, I cannot work, I cannot have any form of relationship, it's absolutely ridiculous."

In April 2014, Mr O'Neill saw his GP and discussed "biting, choking, cutting and burning", the court heard.

Dr Miriam Hodgson said the consultation started about a heart test and ended with him complaining about a cold, but in between he mentioned "homicidal and suicidal thoughts".

Dr Hodgson recorded that his "sex life has become violent, has been seeking out increasingly extreme sexual experiences, biting, choking, cutting, burning".

She also wrote: "Thinks he may have raped someone, it went further than she expected."

Mr O'Neill also told her he thought about killing the partner "a lot" and "has choked her unconscious several times," the court heard.

The GP also recorded that her patient had tried to kill himself by starving himself, dehydration, crossing the road without looking or getting into a fight with gangs of men.

She wrote: "Patient thinks he is dangerous and needs to be stopped."

Dr Hodgson noted he should be referred on as an urgent case.

Outside court, Mr O'Neill explained to reporters that he could not work because of the terms of the SRO, and that his benefits had been stopped because he was unavailable for work.

That in turn meant he was ineligible for Legal Aid, he said.

He has decided to give evidence from the witness box.

Mr O'Neill became upset when he explained how he and a previous partner used sado-masochism to overcome a loss of libido.

He said they had both suffered the trauma of losing a baby in previous relationships.

He said he met his partner at a university fetish club after breaking up with his fiancee, who returned to Japan in 2010.

"We had used that (S&M) as a calming and soothing outlet because of our condition," he told the court.

"It was a loss of libido and both of us had completely lost the ability to climax."

Mr O'Neill said he was discussing this with his GP in relation to his mental state, and that she misunderstood what he was telling her.

He claimed the GP was distressed during the consultation, saying: "Her hands were shaking when she was typing."

When she returned after leaving the room momentarily, she continued the consultation with the door open, he said.

"She was clearly scared."

Mr O'Neill said the assessment with the psychiatric nurse which followed was "very odd".

"He had a look of disgust on his face right from the beginning," he said.

His case was that the two medical professionals inaccurately recorded what he told them.

Judge Lower asked Mr O'Neill if he had been "attention seeking" in making the statements of his sexual past to the medical professionals, which were in fact made up.

Mr O'Neill said: "That's completely and utterly untrue."

The judge made it clear that the police application was not based on any evidence from the rape complainant, and it stemmed only from what he told the nurse and his GP.

Mr O'Neill said the nurse made an assessment of him after their consultation and pointed out he was deemed "no risk".