Challenges Of Rape In The Uk Law Essay

More than 47,000 grownup females are raped every twelvemonth in UK and many instances are ne’er reported.According to British Crime Survey ( BCS ) 2001 non all of the reported instances go to test due to abrasion of fright of non being believed or fright of condemnable justness system ( CJS ) or fright of the tribunals[ 1 ].The Survey informations besides indicates that the increasing Numberss of victims are immature and under 20. In over 53 % of the recorded instances the assaults are committed by work forces known to the victims ( V ) and alcohol poisoning is involved in 34 % of the reported colza instances.[ 2 ]

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In this instance survey of drunk blind day of the month colza. Tom and 19 twelvemonth old Susan drank intoxicant all eventide and ended up in her bed. Following forenoon, Susan saw the used rubber and accused Tom of colza. Tom believed that Susan consented and offered no opposition though she was small ‘groggy ‘ and ‘unresponsive ‘ at times.It is her word against his and there are no informants here. . The deficiency of victim ‘s consent transforms sexual intercourse into colza and in this instance, the polar characteristic is issue of consent. ( Clarkson and Keating,1998 ) . The other issue in inquiry is the capacity to organize consent.

In Criminal jurisprudence, for a individual to be guilty of colza, the Actus Reus and Mens Rea of colza have to be established. Harmonizing to Sexual Offences Act ( SOA ) 2003, ( Herring 2006 p 247 ) . Actus Reus of colza is the incursion of vagina, anus or the oral cavity of the victim with his phallus without her consent. The suspect will hold work forces rea for colza if he penetrates vagina etc with purpose and did non moderately believe that the victim consented. And to acquire a guilty finding of fact, the prosecution has to turn out beyond sensible uncertainty that D acted deliberately, that ‘V ‘ did non consent to the act and D did non moderately believe that V consents.

s 74 of the SOA 2003 states that a individual will accept if he agrees by pick, and has the freedom and capacity to do that pick, ( Herring 2006 ) . The consent must be existent and non be a entry. In R V Olugboja ( 1981 ) , the victim did non defy sexual intercourse with D but submitted to the act because she had been raped by D ‘s friend who was still in the house and she was scared. The Court held that there is difference between the province of head of existent consent and that of mere entry ( Clarkson and Keating p.616 ) .

Alcohols affect the head and can impair the physical, verbal and mental capacities so that actions are hard to read but the consequence varies from being sober to extreme bibulous depending on the sum consumed and the imbibing wonts[ 3 ]. Both Tom and Susan were drunk and have different histories and say that if non for intoxicant they would hold behaved otherwise.

The load of cogent evidence lies with the prosecuting officer to turn out that the victim did non consent to the incursion and the alleged suspect ( D ) did non moderately believe that ‘V consented or that the belief was non sensible[ 4 ]( Herring 2006 pg 452 ) . The suspect has to turn out that his belief in consent is sensible.

Susan does non retrieve all the events of the dark because she passed out. In Roentgen

V Bree ( 2007 )[ 5 ]and controversial colza test R V Dougal ( 2005 )[ 6 ]the victims did non retrieve events of sexual intercourse and giving consent and besides of being unconscious.The prosecution was claiming that both were incapable of accepting Even in instance of chef Peter bacon who was accused of ravishing a bibulous attorney.The suspect reported the consensual sex to the constabulary and said that victim gave feeling that she was basking it.Consent or no consent does non hold to be in signifier of ‘yes ‘ or no but can be verbal, through actions, behavior and attitude.The Actus Rea of sexual intercourse the consent has to be from incursion to withdrawal. In R V Kaitamaki ( 1985 ) after incursion the suspect became cognizant that victim was non accepting and he continued with the act and hence signifiers Mens Rea. He was found guilty of colza. When Susan found tom lying on top of her she did non object in any signifier indicating to him that it was all right with her. If she had objected and Tom had continued so tom would be guilty of the colza. Before the dark out with Susan Tom had sensible belief that Susan would accept to arouse so the whole flushing his belief was strengthen. After heavy imbibing Susan felt amusing and they both went to her house and continued imbibing voluntarily even in her sleeping room. Susan says she wanted to travel place entirely but did nil to halt Tom acquiring into the cab and coming place with her and imbibing in the sleeping room. Through out the eventide she was promoting him. She did non state ‘no ‘ to him nor did she state ‘yes ‘ to him. In similar instance as Susan ‘s, Bree ( R v Bree ) was convicted of colza even though the victim was unconscious sometimes and did retrieve D perforating her. Bree appealed on the rudimentss poisoning and V ‘s capacity to do the pick. His strong belief was quashed and the tribunal of appeal held ; ”where the plaintiff has voluntarily consumed even significant measure of intoxicant, but however remains capable of taking whether or non to hold intercourse, and in drink agrees to make so, this would non be colza ”[ 7 ].The Crown besides considered that periods of unconsciousness due to drunkenness were motions of memory shortage. Thus for all intents she was witting throughout. Appling this to Susan and Tom it would be right to state even though Susan was intoxicated she was capable to make up one’s mind and her determination were encouraging Tom and she was non rejecting him. In mention to non retrieving when intoxicated Judge Hooton ( in Peter Bacon instance ) said that if ‘V ‘ does non retrieve does non turn out that they did non give consent.And being rummy or really drunk does non ever consequence consent.[ 8 ]This position was reiterated by Judge Evans in ( R v Dougal instance ) “ Drunken consent is still a consent ”[ 9 ]

In the instance from Tom ‘s point of position, Tom met up with Susan with the belief that she would be accepting to hold sexual intercourse with him. Throughout the eventide he did non doubt about non acquiring consent. She had offered no opposition though she was small ‘groggy ‘ and unresponsive at times due to alcohol. To turn out that Tom is non guilty two inquiries need to be answered

Did the suspect believe the plaintiff ‘consented ‘

And was this belief sensible.

Tom can non fault self-induced poisoning for his behavior. In R V Fotheringham ( 1989 ) a bibulous hubby charged with ravishing the baby-sitter appealed on evidences of ‘honest but misguided belief, ‘ misidentifying her for his married woman.The tribunal of entreaty ruled that voluntary poisoning is non a defense mechanism to basic purpose offense. Recklessness constitutes the Mens Rea in basic purpose offense e.g. colza ( Clarkson and Keating 1998 pg 416 ) . If Tom ‘s belief is sensible so Tom has nil to worry approximately in this instance. He could hold saved himself all this emphasis and concern if had taken a minute to inquire for consent.

To happen Tom guilty the prosecution has to set up beyond sensible uncertainty that Tom was non mistaken but had the work forces rea for colza. If the suspect succeeds with his defense mechanism, so he must be acquitted. Peter Bacon, Bree and Dougal and Tom were accused by drunk claimants who had hazy to nil memory of the dark and had non said no nor objected to holding sex.

If Susan is right and Tom is guilty, it will be really traumatic for Susan and Tom may acquire life imprisonment.If on the other manus, Susan is incorrect and Tom is non guilty the stigma of being a raper will impact his life and future relationships and Susan may acquire off lightly.

In America, a web site was created by a concerned female parent who ‘s boy was traumatised and suffered unfairness by the allegations of false colza. This was to forestall other people traveling through the agony which she had been through.


Herring, J ( 2006 ) .Criminal Law ; text instances and stuffs. 2nd erectile dysfunction. Oxford: Oxford university imperativeness. 426-429

Simester, A.P and Sullivan, G.R ( 2003 ) .Criminal Law Theory and Doctrine. Oxford and Portland: Hart publishing.407-414.

Clarkson, C.M.V and Keating, H.M ( 1998 ) .Criminal Law, Texts and Materials.

4th erectile dysfunction. London: Sweet and Maxwell. 418-



Condemnable Law: Theory and Doctrine

byA A.P. SimesterA , A G.R. SullivanA A

Second ED 2003


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for soa 2003 Sexual Offences Act 2003 ( c.A 42 )

Card, Cross and Jones Criminal Law byA Richard CardA A

Twelvth ED 1992 Butterworths LONDON 1992

A spread or a chasm? Abrasion in reported colza instances hypertext transfer protocol: //



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