Sex offender human rights breached after police pass on charge details

A High Court has ruled a sex offender’s human rights were violated by police after they told his employer he had a conviction for assaulting a child.

The man, who can only be identified as W, was sacked after his boss was told by police about an attack on a three-year-old in 1987 and a further arrest in 2007.

Justice Nicol, who presided over the case, said Northumbria Police had failed to consider Home Office guidelines before “unlawfully” passing on information about the 1987 conviction, for which W received a 12-month supervision order.

Nicol also accused Northumbria Police of breaching the basic human right to a family life, under Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention, by disclosing details of his previous offence to his employer.

Lawyers for Northumbria Police had argued that both disclosures were “proportionate and necessary” to protect the public amid fears W could have contact with children in the course of his job.

No damages were awarded as part of the ruling.

The case could now have an impact on what police can and cannot tell employers about the past of known sexual offenders, experts believe.