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Even sexual offenders were beyond being banned from accessing internet rules judges at appeal court

Date: (15 November 2012)    |    

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In a internet restriction case the Court of Appeal ruled that banning anyone from the internet was an unreasonable restriction.
Two appeal court judges ruled that access to computer at home had become a basic human right and it would be unreasonable to impose restriction on people.
The decision by Mr Justice Collins and Judge Nicholas Cooke QC could suggest judicial recognition of how pervasive digital communications were in an era when a multitude of services could be obtained online.
The decision could prove a challenging precedent in computer hacking and fraud cases where suspects have frequently been banned from using computers for recreational purposes. At least one computer-hacking suspect, Jake Davis, has been prohibited from going online.
Phillip Michael Jackson a convicted sex offender had made a complaint that he was being cut off from the world, which was upheld by the two judges who said that it was not reasonable to ban anyone from accessing the internet in their home.
Phillip Michael Jackson had been convicted of using a secret camera to film a 14-year-old girl in the shower. Jackson, 55, of Dartford, Kent, doctored a shampoo bottle and hid his mobile phone inside it to take the furtive video of the girl.
The girl spotted a flashlight in the bottle and then Jackson was arrested and during investigation his computer was found to have contained hundreds of sexual images of animals and children as young as four.
He was sentenced to a community order with three years supervision at Woolwich crown court in June. He was also subjected to a sexual offences prevention order (Sopo), banning him from owning a computer, using a camera in public and coming into contact with children at work, and allowing the police to raid his home at any time.
Criminal solicitors defending Jackson argued that the prevention order was unnecessary and disproportionate. The judge who passed the sentence in the crown court had remarked that the ban should last until the day Jackson died.
The judges sitting in the appeals court overturned it and replaced it with an order that Jackson must make his internet history available for police viewing.
Judge Collins addressing the court cited the crown court judge’s ruling where he said while imposing Sopo that he hoped the offender would die subject to his order which Judge Collins said was not appropriate remarks.
He also criticised the lurid language used by the crown court judge and said that the order imposed on Jackson was entirely excessive.