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Mental Health Act 1959

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

128Sexual intercourse with patients

(1)Without prejudice to section seven of the Sexual Offences Act, 1956, it shall be an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section,—

(a)for a man who is an officer on the staff of or is otherwise employed in, or is one of the managers of, a hospital or mental nursing home to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who is for the time being receiving treatment for mental disorder in that hospital or home, or to have such intercourse on the premises of which the hospital or home forms part with a woman who is for the time being receiving such treatment there as an out-patient;

(b)for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who is a mentally disordered patient and who is subject to his guardianship under this Act or is otherwise in his custody or care under this Act or in pursuance of arrangements under the National Health Service Act, 1946, or Part III of the National Assistance Act, 1948, or as a resident in a residential home for mentally disordered persons within the meaning of Part III of this Act.

(2)It shall not be an offence under this section for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a mentally disordered patient.

(3)Any person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

(4)No proceedings shall be instituted for an offence under this section except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(5)This section shall be construed as one with the Sexual Offences Act, 1956; and section forty-seven of that Act (which relates to the proof of exceptions) shall apply to the exception mentioned in this section.

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