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Sexual Offences Case Examples

Sexual Offences Case Examples

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a Sexual Offence, it stands to reason that you might be curious about other Sexual Offences cases. In particular, you might be interested in knowing what past cases were about, and how guilty parties were punished.


Whether you actually committed the crime or not, being accused of anything involving sexual offences can be devastating. If you or someone you care about is facing such a charge, you are likely confused, stressed, and worried about what might happen next. While sexual offences are a highly complex area of English criminal law, having some basic knowledge of the offence, potential sentences, and defences to the crime can help. What also helps is getting familiar with other cases in this category and understanding how the courts dealt with them, as this might indicate what could happen in your case.

What is a sexual offence?

Sexual offences – or just ‘sex offences’ – involve a broad range of crimes, which vary not only in the actions that constitute them but also in their severity. For the most part, sexual offences are governed by the Sexual Offences Act of 2003, but judges also draw from a number of case precedents (i.e. previous real life cases that have gone through the court system). Practically, this means that the law on sexual offences changes all the time, but the fundamentals are fairly set in stone.

The category of sexual offences includes crimes such as:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual activity without consent
  • Rape of children
  • Child sex offences
  • Abuse of a position of trust
  • Familial child sex offences
  • Sex offences against persons with a mental disorder
  • Indecent photographs of children
  • Prostitution
  • Trafficking
  • Sex with an adult relative
  • Other offences, including exposure, voyeurism, intercourse with an animal, sexual penetration of a corpse, and sexual activity in a public lavatory

What makes most of these activities criminal in certain circumstances, and thus what makes these sexual offences, is that there is sexual intent, a lack of consent, or the involvement of a child.

Sexual offences case examples


Case Details Judgment Date Sentence Link to Transcript
Rape with manifest perverted or psychopathic tendencies or a gross personality disorder 21/02/1986 Life imprisonment Court Transcript
Rape of a friend who was sleeping in the same bed as the accused 07/10/2015 Life imprisonment Court Transcript
Pretending to interview women for modelling jobs and using the opportunity to touch them sexually 03/08/2007 12 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Taxi driver’s assault on a passenger 08/02/2010 2 years’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Repeatedly breaching a sexual offences order following conviction for sexual assault 06/11/2015 5 years’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Sexual intercourse with an animal 20/10/2010 12 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Possession of indecent photographs of a child and voyeurism 28/01/2020 15 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript

Sexual offences cases defended by Stuart Miller Solicitors

While many alleged sexual offences are appropriately prosecuted, there remain examples where people are falsely accused or their involvement in a given crime is somehow misrepresented by the prosecution, which could lead to them being punished more harshly than they deserve with devastating consequences for themselves and their families. The team at Stuart Miller Solicitors has been handling these cases for years and has the expertise to help you navigate the specifics of your case.

Some of Stuart Miller Solicitors’ notable successes in this category include:

  • A man who was accused of filming a woman in the bath was spared jail after the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors put forward extensive mitigation involving his health.
  • A married man pretending to be a 13-year-old school boy online was helped by the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors to avoid an immediate jail sentence after his solicitors put forward extensive mitigation and persuaded the judge to show mercy on the defendant.
  • A man accused of running a prostitution ring was facing a seemingly impossible charge with evidence including CCTV imagery that showed him handing condoms to a sex worker, but after experts at Stuart Miller Solicitors got involved he was ultimately acquitted of the more serious offence of conspiring to control prostitution.

What are the sentencing guidelines for sexual offences?

With crimes falling under the category of sexual offences being so broad, there is no precise blueprint of exactly what sentence a given case might attract. That said, there are some guidelines to sentencing sexual offences that can give you an idea of how your case might be treated. Note that sentences may be increased or decreased when the court looks at the culpability (blameworthiness) of the defendant and the harm caused to the victim.

Generally speaking, prison terms for sexual offences can range between three months to life imprisonment for the most serious offences, like rape. One-off and relatively minor sexual offences, sit at the lower end of the punitive scale yet could still attract anything from community service to up to 18 months’ imprisonment, depending on how serious the offence was and whether vulnerable individuals (children or adults) were involved. Examples of sentencing ranges include:

  • Rape – up to life imprisonment (always tried in the Crown Court)
  • Sexual activity with a child – up to six months’ imprisonment if tried in the Magistrates and up to life imprisonment if tried in the Crown Court
  • Meeting a child after sexual grooming – up to six months’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine if tried in the Magistrates and up to 10 years’ imprisonment if tried in the Crown Court
  • Soliciting – up to a level 3 fine of £1000 (always tried in the Magistrates court)

In addition to sentencing, it is highly likely that your details will be kept on your criminal records, which may be seen by prospective employers and other parties, and that your name will be added to the sex offenders register. A consequence of the latter is having to report to probation officers on a regular basis and have restrictions imposed on your life, including rules on where you can live, work, and times and places you can be present in public.

Read more about sexual offences sentencing.

What are possible defences for sexual offences?

Understandably, if you are facing a sexual offences charge you are likely thinking hard about what defences you might be able to raise. Getting advice from an experienced solicitor is always the best approach when considering defences, but this general information may be helpful as you prepare to meet with your solicitor:

  • Consent. Consent will be a valid defence if you can prove that the victim consented to the activity. If a person has consumed too much alcohol or another inebriating substance, they may not have the mental capacity to give their valid consent at that time, and accordingly if the jury thinks that the victim was so inebriated that they were unable to consent, you may not be able to rely on this defence. Children (that is anyone under 18 years of age) cannot consent to sexual activity of any kind, no matter the circumstances.
  • Mistake. The defence of mistake could apply if you were mistaken as to certain factual circumstances and would not have committed the offence if you had known otherwise. Note that when it comes to children, there is no lawful excuse in being mistaken about the child’s age as it is a strict liability offence, which means the very fact that you committed the act is enough and there is no need for mental intent to commit the act as well (as with most other crimes).
  • Duress. Duress may apply where you were forced by a person to commit an offence. The court will consider whether you reasonably feared death or serious injury if you did not commit the act, and whether a reasonable person in your situation would have shared those fears and responded in the same way. This depends highly on available evidence, so make sure you tell your solicitor everything when considering this defence as they will need to know where to look for appropriate evidence.
  • Automatism: If you were unaware of your actions at the time of committing the offence, you may be able to rely upon the defence of automatism in limited circumstances. Generally, if you have voluntarily consumed alcohol or illicit drugs at the time of the offence, you would not be able to rely on this defence. The automatism must instead relate to a mental or physiological condition like sleep-walking where you are not aware of your actions through no fault of your own.

How can I get further help?

If you or someone you care about is facing a sexual offences charge, and whether it is something highly serious like rape or less serious like possessing a few pornographic materials, contact the criminal defence experts at Stuart Miller Solicitors. Our team has decades of collective experience in handling cases of this nature, and we can meet with you in person, on the phone, or online to advise in a friendly and completely non-judgemental manner. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help.

(This page was last updated on November 28, 2023.)


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