Abuse Of Trust Allegations

THE LEGISLATION
Sexual Offences Act 2003 (‘the Act’): Sections 16 – 24 of the Act provide protection for young people aged 16 – 17 who are considered to be vulnerable and open to exploitation by others who hold a position of trust or authority in their lives.

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What Is A Position Of Trust?

Positions of Trust are defined in section 21 and 22 of the Act and cover the following possibilities:

  • Looking after persons in educational establishments
  • Residential settings
  • Hospital, clinic, care homes, or children’s homes

The Offences | Explained

Section 16 – Sexual Activity With A Child

A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally touches another person (B)

(b) the touching is sexual

(c) A is in a position of trust in relation to B

(d) where subsection (2) applies, A knows or could reasonably be expected to know of the circumstances by virtue of which he is in a position of trust in relation to B, and

(e) either-

(i) B is under 18 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 18 or over, or

(ii) B is under 13

Section 17 – Causing Or Inciting A Child To Engage In Sexual Activity

A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally causes or incites another person (B) to engage in an activity

(b) the activity is sexual

(c) A is in a position of trust in relation to B

(d) where subsection (2) applies, A knows or could reasonably be expected to know of the circumstances by virtue of which he is in a position of trust in relation to B, and

(e) either—

(i) B is under 18 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 18 or over, or

(ii) B is under 13

Section 18 – Engaging In Sexual Activity In The Presence Of A Child

A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally engages in an activity

(b) the activity is sexual

(c) for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he engages in it

(i) when another person (B) is present or is in a place from which A can be observed, and

(ii) knowing or believing that B is aware, or intending that B should be aware, that he is engaging in it,

(d) A is in a position of trust in relation to B,

(e) where subsection (2) applies, A knows or could reasonably be expected to know of the circumstances by virtue of which he is in a position of trust in relation to B, and

(f) either—

(i) B is under 18 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 18 or over, or

(ii) B is under 13.

h4>Section 19 – Causing A Child To Watch A Sexual Act

A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a) for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he intentionally causes another person (B) to watch a third person engaging in an activity, or to look at an image of any person engaging in an activity

(b) the activity is sexual

(c) A is in a position of trust in relation to B

(d) where subsection (2) applies, A knows or could reasonably be expected to know of the circumstances by virtue of which he is in a position of trust in relation to B, and

(e) either—

(i) B is under 18 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 18 or over, or

(ii) B is under 13











The Issue of Consent

The age of consent in the UK is 16, however, that rises to 18 where the consensual sexual activity involves one person in a position of trust.

The offences were designed to protect 16 and 17 year olds from being persuaded to engage in sexual activity which would not be criminal except for the offender’s position of trust.

What are the possible defences?

  • It would be a defence if ‘A’ held a reasonable belief that ‘B’ was 18 or over
  • ‘A’ would also have a defence if he/she did not know that he/she was in a position of trust or had a reasonable belief that he/she was not in a position of trust
  • If ‘A’ and ‘B’ are married
  • ‘A’ has a defence where he/she can prove that a sexual relationship pre-dated the relationship of trust with ‘B’ (only where that sexual relationship was lawful)

What is the Court Procedure?

All of these offences are triable either in a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court with the maximum sentence being five years imprisonment.

Who Can I Contact For Advice & Help?

It is imperative that you instruct an experienced solicitor as soon as you are made aware of an allegation being made.

Crucially, it is always important to have a solicitor present in interview at the police station whether it is an interview by appointment or under arrest.

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CHAMBERS UK
Words cannot express the way I feel knowing that the Jury believed my innocence of the allegations made against me…I am very grateful to my Lawyer and Barrister for the level of support throughout my case. I can now live without the stigma of being a sexual offender.
CLIENT
This has been a very harrowing experience for me and my family. There have been some very dark moments over the last 12 months or so but I have had to stay strong in order to fight these false allegations. I have been helped enormously by my solicitors who have dealt with my matter with patience and great diligence. The support I received during the trial was fantastic and I would like to extend a special thank you to them.
CLIENT
I contacted Kangs Solicitors having been arrested for an allegation of rape. I was in complete shock at what had happened as I had been falsely accused and I needed immediate experienced legal support. Upon meeting the senior partner of Kangs Solicitors, Hamraj Kang, I felt that they immediately understood my situation due to their considerable experience dealing with such cases. I was very comfortable with the way they sympathetically explained how they could assist me and what I would need to do with their help to prepare my case. My case was prepared to an exceptionally high standard. Kangs selected the perfect barrister for my situation in order to fight my case. I am just so thankful that I instructed Kangs Solicitors as they really have made a huge difference to my life. Thank you.
CLIENT
Criminal Litigation, Sexual Offences
KANGS has successfully defended our 29-year-old client, charged with sexual offences against children under Sections 10 and 15A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (‘the Act’). Helen Holder of KANGS reports on this successful outcome. The Relevant Law | Sexual Offences Act 2003 The Act provides as follows: Section 10 - Causing or inciting a […]
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The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced Sexual Harm Preventions Orders (a ‘SHPO’), to replace Sexual Offences Prevention Orders. A SHPO aims to protect the public from sexual harm by restricting the activities of the person against whom they are issued. For example, prohibiting the downloading of indecent images of children or access […]
24/05/24
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KANGS has recently represented a client in his successful application to Wood Green Crown Court to discharge an Indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (‘the Order’) which was imposed in 2016. Helen Holder of KANGS outlines the circumstances. The Circumstances Indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order Our client sought a discharge, or, failing that, a variation of […]
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