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Explanatory Memorandum to Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Article 67: Trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence

7.138.Article 67 makes it an offence for A to intend to commit a "relevant sexual offence" (defined at paragraph (2) of Article 66) whilst he is on any premises where he is a trespasser, either knowing, or being reckless as to whether, he is trespassing. A person is a trespasser if he is on any premises without the owner's or occupier's consent, or other lawful excuse. This offence is intended to capture, for example, the situation where a person (A) enters a building owned by B, or goes into B's garden or garage without B's consent, and he intends to commit a sexual offence against the occupier. The offence applies regardless of whether or not the substantive sexual offence is committed. A will commit the offence if he has the intent to commit a relevant sexual offence at any time while he is a trespasser. The intent is likely to be inferred from what the defendant says or does to the intended victim (if there is one) or from items in possession of the defendant at the time he commits the trespass (for example, condoms, pornographic images, rope etc.). A separate offence is needed to cover trespass (as opposed to relying on Article 66) because trespass is a civil tort and not a criminal offence. The offence has a maximum sentence of 14 years for circumstances where there is an intent to commit rape or sexual assault by penetration.

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