Sexual Offences committed
outside of the UK


The Sexual Offences Act 2003

Paragraph 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (‘the Act’) provides for the prosecution of UK nationals and residents who have committed certain sexual offences abroad, by stating:

  1. If a UK national does an act in a country outside the UK and the act, if done in England and Wales, would constitute a sexual offence to which this section applies, the UK national is guilty in England and Wales of that sexual offence;
  2. If a UK resident does an act in a country outside the UK, the act constitutes an offence under the law in force in that country and the act, if done in England and Wales, would constitute a sexual offence to which this section applies, the UK resident is guilty in England and Wales of that sexual offence.
  3. If a person does an act in a country outside the UK at a time when the person was not a UK national or resident, the act constituted an offence under the law in force in that country, the act if done in England and Wales would have constituted a sexual offence to which this section applies and the person meets the residence or nationality condition at the relevant time, proceedings may be brought against the person in England and Wales for that sexual offence as if the person had done the act there.
  4. The person meets the residence or nationality condition at the relevant time if the person is a UK national or a UK resident at the time when the proceedings are brought.

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Offences To Which The Act Applies

  • Schedule 2 lists the sexual offences to which section 72 applies. Until recently it predominantly identified offences against children under the age of 18 and offences involving indecent photographs of children.
  • The law was extended to cover adult complainants on 29 June 2021 as the definition of ‘victim’ for the purposes of section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 was extended to include individuals who were aged 18 or over at the time of the allegation.
  • The general rule is that allegations should be tried in the jurisdiction in which they occurred and it is still rare for such matters to be prosecuted in the England & Wales. But the law does allow for such prosecutions in England & Wales and KANGS has defended clients in such proceedings.
  • There is no requirement for the crime to be an offence in both countries.

How Can We Help?

The team at KANGS has significant expertise in defending allegations with an international dimension. We are well versed in collating evidence from abroad, engaging relevant experts in foreign jurisdictions and ensuring all evidence gathered overseas is admissible in court proceedings in England & Wales.

By way of one example, KANGS were instructed in the conduct of the first ever trial in the UK involving alleged offences of the nature referred to above committed in Kenya.

Members of the Kangs Sexual Criminal Offences Defence Team travelled on two separate occasions to Kenya to conduct relevant defence enquiries and to arrange for defence witnesses based in Kenya to give live evidence to the Crown Court in England.

Who Can I Contact For Advice & Help?

It is imperative that you instruct an experienced solicitor as soon as you become aware of an allegation being made. Crucially, it is essential to have a solicitor present in interview at the police station, whether it is an interview by appointment or under arrest, in order to ensure that the appropriate experience and advice is at hand.

To discuss an allegation of a sexual offence of any nature please contact us.


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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.
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.
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.
Criminal Litigation, Sexual Offences
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 […]
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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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The Team at KANGS successfully defended a client charged with three counts of sexual assault under section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (‘the Act’). Following a six-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court, the Jury unanimously acquitted our client of all counts after only two and a half hours deliberation. John Veale of KANGS […]

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