Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2001] All ER (D) 341 (Jul)
Neutral Citation: [2001] UKHL 41
Court: House of Lords

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett

Representation David Fisher QC and Irena Ray-Crosby (instructed by Marsh Ferriman & Cheale) for the defendant.
  Anthony Scrivener QC and Anthony Heaton-Armstrong (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.
Judgment Dates: 25 July 2001


Criminal law - Indecent assault on a girl under 16 years - Mens rea - Whether defence of genuine belief that girl over 16 years available - s 14.

The Case

Guilty knowledge was an essential ingredient of a statutory offence unless it was shown to be excluded by express words or necessary implication, and neither in s14 nor elsewhere in the was there any express exclusion of the need to prove absence of genuine belief on the part of a defendant as to the age of an under-age victim.

Practice Areas

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