Nitrous Oxide | Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 | KANGS Drugs Offences Defence Solicitors
The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act 2022 (‘the Act’) creates the offence of ‘Breast Feeding Voyeurism’ which, inter alia, targets voyeurs who record images of breastfeeding women without permission.
The offence has been passed as the result of a campaign led by Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, who was photographed while feeding her baby daughter on a train in north London.
Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors comments upon this new offence.
Kangs Solicitors has been defending clients charged with criminal offences of every nature for well over twenty years and is rated as one of the best criminal law firms in the country being ‘Top Ranked’ by the leading legal directories The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.
The Legal 500 states:
‘I can recommend Helen Holder. Committed, legally-astute, adopts a collaborative approach to tackle problems on behalf of her clients. Highly recommended‘.
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Our Team is led by Hamraj Kang who is recognised as a leading expert in the field of criminal law. He is ranked in the ‘Top Tier’ by both of the above-mentioned leading directories.
The Campaign | Kangs Voyeurism Offences Defence Solicitors
Whilst travelling on a North London train, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy was breast feeding her baby daughter.
She realised that a teenage boy was taking pictures and videos of her, laughing whilst doing so.
The experience unsettled Stella to such an extent that she exited the train at the next station.
In due course, Stella was contacted by Julia Cooper, a mother from Manchester, who suffered a similar experience when she had been photographed breast feeding by a man in a park, whilst she was with a group of new mothers.
Julia requested that he delete the images but he refused as he knew that his actions were not illegal.
Upon contacting the Police, she was informed that they could not assist as no criminal offence had been committed.
Stella and Julia launched a campaign with the Labour MP for Manchester, Jeff Smith, named ‘Stop the Breast Pest’ which resulted in the creation of the new offence.
The New Offence | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
The Act amends the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and states:
’48 Voyeurism: breast-feeding
(1) Section 67A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (voyeurism: additional offences) is amended as follows.
(2) After subsection (2) insert—
“(2A) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A operates equipment,
(b) A does so with the intention of enabling A or another person (C), for a purpose mentioned in subsection (3), to observe another (B) while B is breast-feeding a child, and
(c) A does so—
(i) without B’s consent, and
(ii) without reasonably believing that B consents.
(2B) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A records an image of another (B) while B is breast-feeding a child,
(b) A does so with the intention that A or another person (C) will look at the image for a purpose mentioned in subsection (3), and
(c) A does so—
(i) without B’s consent, and
(ii) without reasonably believing that B consents.”
(3) In subsection (3), for “and (2)” substitute “to (2B)”.
(4) After subsection (3) insert—
“(3A) In this section a reference to B breast-feeding a child includes B re-arranging B’s clothing—
(a) in the course of preparing to breast-feed the child, or
(b) having just finished breast-feeding the child.
(3B) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsections (2A) and (2B)—
(a) whether or not B is in a public place while B is breast-feeding the child,
(b) whether or not B’s breasts are exposed while B is breast-feeding the child, and
(c) what part of B’s body—
(i) is, or is intended by A to be, visible in the recorded image, or
(ii) is intended by A to be observed.”’
Sentencing | Kangs Serious Crime Defence Solicitors
An individual guilty of the offence of Breast-Feeding Voyeurism is liable —
(a) on summary conviction before a Magistrates’ Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the general limit, a fine, or both;
(b) on conviction on indictment before a Crown Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, a fine or both.
Official Comments | Kangs Sexual Offences Defence Solicitors
Labour MP for Withington, Jeff Smith, stated:
‘Breast feeding should be something that mothers can do without fear of intrusion’.
Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasey, stated:
‘Women should be able to do this wherever they need to whenever they need to, without hassle, and hassle doesn’t just include people criticising them, it includes heavier like this. You should be able to feed in peace’.
‘Feeding a baby is not a sexual act, and motherhood shouldn’t have to be a struggle like this. This is a small thing, but it’s an important thing, for people who are just trying to do something completely natural’.
‘This is not about whether you should breastfeed in public or not, it is absolutely about consent’.
Former Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, stated:
‘We are committed to doing everything we can to protect women, make them feel safer, and give them greater confidence in the justice system.
And we will introduce a new offence to stop people filming or taking photos of mothers breastfeeding without their consent -because no new mum should be harassed in this way’,
How Can We Help You? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
The Team at Kangs Solicitors is highly regarded nationally for defending clients facing investigation and prosecution for alleged criminal activity of every nature including allegations of voyeurism, ‘up-skirting’ and similar sexual activity.
We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester.
Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.