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Explanatory Memorandum to Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Article 31: Articles 23 to 26:  sexual relationships which pre-date position of trust

7.74.Article 31 provides A with a defence to abuse of position of trust offences if he can prove that his sexual relationship with B pre-dated his relationship of trust with B. So if A could prove that he and B had a sexual relationship before A went to work at the school at which B is a pupil, he would not commit an offence by continuing that sexual relationship. The effect of paragraph (2) is to limit this to the situation where the sexual relationship that pre-dated the relationship of trust was lawful, so it would not cover for example a relationship with a child of under 16.

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