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Getting to Grips with Sexual Grooming? The new offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date07/2004
JournalJournal of Social Welfare and Family Law
Journal number2
Volume26
Number of pages13
Pages147-159
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In recent years, there has been increased societal concern regarding the dangers posed to children by sexual abuse and other related acts. For the main part, this article examines the new offence of meeting a child following sexual grooming under Section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. I will address the question of whether the introduction of this offence is likely to meet the Government’s aim of providing greater protection for children against behaviour associated with sexual abuse. In particular, I will consider how difficult it will be to prove the existence of a harmful ulterior intent in order to make out the offence and why the Government has opted to create this specific offence rather than utilise the existing law of criminal attempt. I will argue that the new offence is a step in the right direction and that the current protection offered to children will be significantly extended by its introduction.