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Explanatory Memorandum to Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Other offences
Article 70: Exposure

7.141.Article 70 makes it an offence for a person intentionally to expose his genitals where he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress. It is not necessary for A's genitals to have been seen by anyone or for anyone to have been alarmed or distressed. For example, if a person exposes his genitals to some passers-by, he may (depending on his state of mind) commit the offence regardless of whether they actually see his genitals or whether they have been alarmed or distressed by seeing them.

Article 71: Voyeurism

7.142.Article 71 makes it an offence, under paragraph (1) for a person, (A), to observe, for the purpose of his own sexual gratification, another person doing a private act, for instance by looking through a window or peephole at someone having sexual intercourse, where A knows the person observed does not consent to being looked at for this purpose.

7.143.Paragraph (2) covers a person (A) operating equipment with the intention of enabling another person, for his sexual gratification, to observe a third person (B), doing a private act, where A knows that B does not consent to being so viewed. This would cover, for example, a landlord (A) operating a webcam to allow people on the internet for their sexual gratification to view live images of his tenant (B) getting undressed, if A knew that B did not consent to this.

7.144.Paragraph (3) covers a person (A) recording another person (B) doing a private act with the intention of looking at the recording for his own sexual gratification, or intending other people to look, for their sexual gratification, at the recording, and where he knows that B does not consent to the recording of that act with that intention. This would therefore cover the person (A) who secretly films someone (B) masturbating in B's bedroom to show to others for their sexual gratification. Proof that the intention was the sexual gratification of others could be derived from, for example, the fact that the image was posted on a pornographic website, or in a pornographic magazine. A will be caught by the offence whether or not those looking at the image know that the person filmed did not consent to being filmed with that intention.

7.145.Paragraph (4) would cover someone who, for example, drilled a spy-hole or installed a two-way mirror in a house with the intention of spying on someone for sexual gratification or allowing others to do so. A would be caught even if the peephole or mirror was discovered before it was used.

Article 72: Voyeurism: interpretation

7.146.Article 72 defines "private act" and "structure" for the purposes of Article 71.

Article 73: Intercourse with an animal

7.147.Article 73 makes it an offence for a man intentionally to penetrate the vagina or anus of a living animal with his penis where he knows or is reckless as to whether that is what he is penetrating. The reference to vagina or anus in this context is further explained at paragraph (13) of Article 2. Paragraph (2) makes it an offence for a person intentionally to cause or allow her vagina or his or her anus to be penetrated by the penis of a living animal where he or she knows or is reckless as to whether that is what is doing the penetrating. This offence is related solely to penile penetration in relation to animals and does not replace existing legislation covering cruelty to animals.

Article 74: Sexual penetration of a corpse

7.148.Article 74 makes it an offence for a person (A) intentionally to penetrate any part of the body of a dead person (B) with his penis, any other body part (for example his finger), or any other object, where that penetration is sexual. The offence is committed when A knows or is reckless as to whether he is penetrating any part of a dead body. This is intended to cover when A knows he is penetrating a dead body, for example in a mortuary, or where A is reckless as to whether B is alive or dead. It will not cover situations where A penetrates B fully believing B to be alive, but in fact B is dead, or where B unexpectedly dies during intercourse. The penetration must be sexual. A definition of sexual is given in Article 4. This is to exclude legitimate penetration of corpses, for example that which occurs during an autopsy.

Article 75: Sexual activity in a public lavatory

7.149.Article 75 makes it an offence intentionally to engage in sexual activities in a public lavatory. Paragraph (1)(a) defines a public lavatory. The term "sexual" for the purposes of this clause is defined in paragraph (2). A definition distinct from that in Article 4 is used in Article 75 so as to include only sexual activities that a reasonable person would take to be sexual without knowledge of the purpose of the person carrying out the activity.

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