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Sexual Offences Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Criminal Law Notes

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A more recent version of these Sexual Offences notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Revision: Criminal



Until 2003 sexual offences were governed by the Common Law


Sexual Offences Act 2003 (SOA) - meant to be all-encompassing code o

Aim of legislation was the difficulties in prosecuting defendants for rape*

Conviction for cases that go to trial - 71% in 2010 (21% in 2002)

Created over 50 crimes - but only need to know 4

1. Rape - S1

2. Assault by penetration - SOA s2

3. Sexual Assault - SOA s 3

4. Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent - SOA s 4

1. Rape AR


Penetration by the penis into the vagina, anus or mouth (see S79) o

Provision in s79 - Penetration is a continuing act from penetration to withdrawal - if the claimant changes their mind during then it can still be rape even thought they consented when it was put in



Prosecution must prove that they defendant did not consent

(a) Section 74 defines consent o

S74 - person consent if they agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to choose

? Freedom to make the choice

1 Revision: Criminal


R v Jheeta: They were in a relationship -girl was considering ending the relationship - she was receiving threatening messages - told Jheeta - she said that he would protect her and tell the police - the 'police' then started sending her messages too - said she would be liable to a fine if she didn't stay with her boyfriendAll the messages in fact came from Jheeta - plot to stop the girl from breaking up with himShe eventually went to the police and they had never heard about itInvestigation went back to JheetaCA asked to address whether the sex they had had been consensual - court said that she had not had any freedom to choose so there was no consent

? Capacity to choose o

R v Bree -D (Bree) was visiting his brother at University - he took a girl home at the end of the night - she was sick upon opening the door. She claimed that her next memory was of her being on the bed with him on top of her - she claimed that she didn't consent.


Bree claimed that she had consented - that she perked up after being sick and was lucid throughout

*Diametrically opposed evidence

CA: drunken consent is still consent - but equally someone can be so drunk that they lack the capacity to consent


'capacity to consent may evaporate well before a complainant becomes unconscious Whether this is so or not, however, is fact specific, or more accurately, depends on the actual state of mind if the individuals involved on the particular occasion'



Drunkenness is problematic!

Basic rule in S74 backed up with evidential presumptions (s75) and conclusive presumptions (s76) 2

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