Search Legislation

The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

What Version

 Help about what version

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Order associated Parts and Chapters:

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Changes and effects

This section lists the changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Order, associated Parts and Chapters where applicable. This includes any insertions of whole new Parts, Chapters or provisions yet to be inserted into this Order. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing.

PART 2 N.I.NON-CONSENSUAL SEXUAL OFFENCES

RapeN.I.

RapeN.I.

5.  (1)  A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,

(b)B does not consent to the penetration, and

(c)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Articles 9 and 10 apply to an offence under this Article.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

(5) Any reference to rape in a statutory provision shall be construed in accordance with paragraph (1).

(6) The common law offence of rape is abolished.

AssaultN.I.

Assault by penetrationN.I.

6.  (1)  A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person (B) with a part of his body or anything else,

(b)the penetration is sexual,

(c)B does not consent to the penetration, and

(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Articles 9 and 10 apply to an offence under this Article.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

Sexual assaultN.I.

7.  (1)  A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally touches another person (B),

(b)the touching is sexual,

(c)B does not consent to the touching, and

(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Articles 9 and 10 apply to an offence under this Article.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

Causing sexual activity without consentN.I.

Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consentN.I.

8.  (1)  A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally causes another person (B) to engage in an activity,

(b)the activity is sexual,

(c)B does not consent to engaging in the activity, and

(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

(3) Articles 9 and 10 apply to an offence under this Article.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this Article, if the activity caused involved—

(a)penetration of B's anus or vagina,

(b)penetration of B's mouth with a person's penis,

(c)penetration of a person's anus or vagina with a part of B's body or by B with anything else, or

(d)penetration of a person's mouth with B's penis,

is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

(5) Unless paragraph (4) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

Evidential presumptions about consentN.I.

9.  (1)  If in proceedings for an offence to which this Article applies it is proved—

(a)that the defendant did the relevant act,

(b)that any of the circumstances specified in paragraph (2) existed, and

(c)that the defendant knew that those circumstances existed,

the complainant is to be taken not to have consented to the relevant act unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he consented, and the defendant is to be taken not to have reasonably believed that the complainant consented unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he reasonably believed it.

(2) The circumstances are that—

(a)any person was, at the time of the relevant act or immediately before it began, using violence against the complainant or causing the complainant to fear that immediate violence would be used against him;

(b)any person was, at the time of the relevant act or immediately before it began, causing the complainant to fear that violence was being used, or that immediate violence would be used, against another person;

(c)the complainant was, and the defendant was not, unlawfully detained at the time of the relevant act;

(d)the complainant was asleep or otherwise unconscious at the time of the relevant act;

(e)because of the complainant's physical disability, the complainant would not have been able at the time of the relevant act to communicate to the defendant whether the complainant consented;

(f)any person had administered to or caused to be taken by the complainant, without the complainant's consent, a substance which, having regard to when it was administered or taken, was capable of causing or enabling the complainant to be stupefied or overpowered at the time of the relevant act.

(3) In paragraph (2)(a) and (b), the reference to the time immediately before the relevant act began is, in the case of an act which is one of a continuous series of sexual activities, a reference to the time immediately before the first sexual activity began.

Conclusive presumptions about consentN.I.

10.  (1)  If in proceedings for an offence to which this Article applies it is proved that the defendant did the relevant act and that any of the circumstances specified in paragraph (2) existed, it is to be conclusively presumed—

(a)that the complainant did not consent to the relevant act, and

(b)that the defendant did not believe that the complainant consented to the relevant act.

(2) The circumstances are—

(a)the defendant intentionally deceived the complainant as to the nature or purpose of the relevant act;

(b)the defendant intentionally induced the complainant to consent to the relevant act by impersonating a person known personally to the complainant.

Articles 9 and 10: relevant actsN.I.

11.  In relation to an offence to which Articles 9 and 10 apply, references in those Articles to the relevant act and to the complainant are to be read as follows—

OffenceRelevant Act
An offence under Article 5 (rape)The defendant intentionally penetrating, with his penis, the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (“the complainant”).
An offence under Article 6 (assault by penetration)The defendant intentionally penetrating, with a part of his body or anything else, the vagina or anus of another person (“the complainant”), where the penetration is sexual.
An offence under Article 7 (sexual assault)The defendant intentionally touching another person (“the complainant”), where the touching is sexual.
An offence under Article 8 (causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent)The defendant intentionally causing another person (“the complainant”) to engage in an activity, where the activity is sexual.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Memorandum

Explanatory Memorandum sets out a brief statement of the purpose of a Northern Ireland Order in Council and provides information about its policy objective and policy implications. They aim to make the Order accessible to readers who are not legally qualified and accompany any Northern Ireland Order in Council made since 2002.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enactedversion that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources