Skip to main content

Ben – Praise from a judge when I applied to have my SOPO discharged

Ben originally contacted the Unlock helpline in 2022 after he’d been advised by his Public Protection Officer (PPU) to apply to the court to have his Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) discharged.

Ben explained that over the years he’d learn to live with the conditions set out in his SOPO and on a day to day basis it didn’t cause him any particular concerns. Having built a new life for himself following his conviction, he was extremely concerned that if he did apply to the court his new life could potentially be put at risk if details of his conviction came to light in the local media.

The helpline advisor explained that occasionally it was possible for a judge to deal with a case administratively rather than having the applicant appear in court. However, in most cases it was extremely rare for there to be any media interest in cases such as this and, if Ben had the support of the PPU officer, he should go ahead and make the application. The advisor suggested to Ben that if he wanted to draft his letter of application to the court, Unlock would be happy to have a read through it and provide him with feedback/advice.

Ben used the information on Unlock’s website to help him prepare his application and included:

  • Details of the positive changes he had made since the order was first given. This included moving to a new area and creating a new life for himself and continuing to maintain a good relationship with his family.
  • Evidence that he had fully co-operated with the requirements of the SOPO and also the notification requirements.

After his court hearing Ben contacted us to say that his SOPO had been discharged and the judge had thanked him for the effort he had put into preparing his case and the evidence for the hearing.


Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Published April 2023.


We want to make sure that our website is as helpful as possible.

Letting us know if you easily found what you were looking for or not enables us to continue to improve our service for you and others.

Was it easy to find what you were looking for?

Thank you for your feedback.

12 million people have criminal records in the UK. We need your help to help them.

Help support us now