Friday, 28 June 2013

Thirteen - Lucky for some.

 
 
 
An old story, from November last year, but one where the underlying theme of this story is just as applicable today as it was then. As far as I am aware, nothing has changed.
 
Under UK Law as defined by CPS "A boy or girl under the age of 16 cannot consent in law, (Archbold 2004, 20-152)".
 
Easily done, I know, but I get very confused regarding the issue of consent. On one hand, wherever you look, it is stated "The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women" (taken from Law On Sex), however, taken from the same article - "Specific laws protect children under 13, who cannot legally give their consent to any form of sexual activity"
 
I find this very contradictory - If the legal age of consent is sixteen years old, where does does the second part come from? Surely, the second part is obvious & does not need to be in there - if sixteen is the age on consent, then obviously thirteen year olds cannot "legally give consent to any form of sexual activity" (and nor can fourteen or fifteen year olds) either?
 
However, going back to the article from November 2012, it states "Fury erupted last night after prosecutors scrapped a rape charge amid claims the girl consented"
 
How does this work then?
 
How can a thirteen year old have consented in the eye of the law, when "A boy or girl under the age of 16 cannot consent in law"?
 
There have been other articles I have read, that also refer to sexual consent by under sixteen year olds.
 
According to Weightlifting champion Dylan Scott, 21, jailed for rape, from May this year, "It is plain that the jury must have proceeded on the basis there was consent". This was a 14 year old child.
 
And from the Peterborough Telegraph from June this year - Appeal rejected for teen who got 12-year-old pregnant - "The 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named, said he thought his victim was 13 and had consented to sex" If the legal age of consent is 16, why would someone think this?

Why does the 2003 Sexual Offences act, split offences between Children Under Thirteen and Thirteen to Sixteen if a child of sixteen cannot give consent?

Why are children still made to argue "consent or not consent" in courts when they are thirteen to fifteen years old and have been raped / sexually abused, if the legal age of consent is sixteen?

Is it really a case of "Thirteen - Lucky for Some" if you are a paedophile, have been caught, and have sexually assaulted / raped a child between thirteen to sixteen.

Then, at least, you can argue that the child consented, somehow.

Any answers gratefully received - please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know where I have misinterpreted this.

4 comments:

  1. If you read the CPS guidelines you will find the following:

    These two situations are different. In the first, the apparent consent is not treated as real consent because the person consenting did not understand enough to give real consent. This is a question of fact. In the second (person between 13 and 15), consent is real as a matter of fact but the law does not allow it to count.

    Where the victim has consented in fact but not in law (e.g. ages 13-15) alternative offences may be appropriate. Examples include incest or unlawful sexual intercourse (in the case of a female victim)

    This means that if someone has sex with someone between 13 and 15 with consent then the offence is Unlawful Sexual Intercourse. Obviously, without consent it is rape. But for a child under 13, consent is irrelevent and it is rape. There is no Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a person under 13, it is rape.

    It is an attempt by the Law to allow Courts to treat people fairly and justly so that the sentence fits the crime

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  2. I have read the guidelines, but am still confused. If the law does not allow consent to count, for children aged from 13 to 15, why are children allowed to be cross-grilled in court, and put through the agony of having to argue "consent or no consent"?

    In the NSPCC definition of a child (http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/questions/definition_of_a_child_wda59396.html), it states both "The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that the age of consent for sex is 16 in England and Wales", then "To protect younger children, the law says children under 13 can never legally give consent". Still confused..

    If the Law states the age of consent as 16, that should be it. No "real as a matter of fact" consent.

    Other things that are age restricted, are age restricted pure and simple. If someone of 16 places bets at the bookies, or goes into a pub & gets wrecked, there is no question of "consent" argued against the bookie or landlord, so why with this crime.

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  3. On institutionalised corruption; can someone do a 'link' for this please :

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/411342/Stephen-Lawrence-smear-investigation-Institutional-deceit-is-damaging-opinion-of-police

    "AS another storm swirled around Scotland Yard last week, sucking in officers over alleged secret smear operations against Stephen Lawrence’s family, three MPs boarded a plane for the Channel Island haven of Jersey."

    Continues into a good article but is quite short and limited and does not even mention the constructive dismissal of the corruption and child abuse fighting Police Chief Graham Power and his replacement with another plastic pet-copper on a leash.
    "Sniff here, No- don't dig there, Wee here, GOOD BOY! have a biscuit."

    There is a comments section for the Sunday Express story if people wish to register on the site. It might be worth submitting links to some of the good blog postings from the past that will fill in some of the blanks that the article did not have time for.

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