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Explanatory Memorandum to Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Article 54: Care workers: causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act

7.118.Like the previous two sets of offences, these Articles are concerned with the situation where a person (A) involves another person (B) in sexual activity where B has a mental disorder. The difference here is that A and B must be in a relationship of care. There is no need to prove that B is unable to refuse. The definition of mental disorder is at Article 2(9); the definition of sexual activity is at Article 4. The relationships of care that are covered by these offences are set out at Article 55. The offences are divided according to the different types of sexual activity involved. The division is the same as for Article 43 to 46 and what is said in the notes for those Articles about the different types of sexual activity covered applies here too. The prosecution must prove, in addition to the other requirements, that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that B had a mental disorder. Paragraph (2) of each Article puts an evidential burden on A in this respect. This means that, unless A shows from the evidence that there is an arguable case as to whether or not he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know of B's mental disorder, it is presumed that he did know or could reasonably have been expected to know of this.

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