The Sexual Offences Act 2003 changed the criminal law on sexual offending, creating a great number of different and some new offences. Much of the Act is designed around protecting children and young people. Offences like grooming, trafficking, abuse of trust by teachers and those in positions of responsibility, and offences committed by care workers, were essentially new crimes, brought into force because of changes in attitude and the behaviour of society. Other offences, like voyeurism, exposure and sexual assault built on the previous law, but brought it up to date, and tried to define precisely which activities should be criminal and which not.
The Act also made most offences committable by both men and women, and removed some old anomalies between heterosexual and homosexual behaviour. A crime is a crime, irrespective of who commits it or who the victim is. It also extended the scope of the UK criminal law, allowing UK nationals who commit some sexual offences abroad to be prosecuted here.
The UK’s sexual offence law is now very comprehensive and highly codified. It requires careful study to understand it fully and regular practice of it to keep up to date with developing caselaw. This is an area in which solicitors at Hodge Jones and Allen specialise. We can advise immediately on liability, strength of evidence, defences, evidential issues and likely outcome. We will be able to talk about the sort of sentence which might be imposed in the event of a conviction, the other orders which could follow and the effect of these.
Being accused of a sexual offence is a life-changing experience. We will help you through it with sound advice, robust representation, tact and calm common-sense.
Our sexual offence specialists are part of our London based sexual offences team. We have almost four decades of experience helping clients from around the UK with a wide variety of legal matters. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0808 250 6017 today.