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Sexual Offences Act 2003

Changes over time for: Cross Heading: Care workers for persons with a mental disorder

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Sexual Offences Act 2003, Cross Heading: Care workers for persons with a mental disorder is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 15 June 2024. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Care workers for persons with a mental disorderE+W

38Care workers: sexual activity with a person with a mental disorderE+W

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

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

(b)the touching is sexual,

(c)B has a mental disorder,

(d)A knows or could reasonably be expected to know that B has a mental disorder, and

(e)A is involved in B’s care in a way that falls within section 42.

(2)Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the other person had a mental disorder, it is to be taken that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that that person had a mental disorder unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know it.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section, if the touching involved—

(a)penetration of B’s anus or vagina with a part of A’s body or anything else,

(b)penetration of B’s mouth with A’s penis,

(c)penetration of A’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body, or

(d)penetration of A’s mouth with B’s penis,

is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(4)Unless subsection (3) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section 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.

39Care workers: causing or inciting sexual activityE+W

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

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

(b)the activity is sexual,

(c)B has a mental disorder,

(d)A knows or could reasonably be expected to know that B has a mental disorder, and

(e)A is involved in B’s care in a way that falls within section 42.

(2)Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the other person had a mental disorder, it is to be taken that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that that person had a mental disorder unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know it.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section, if the activity caused or incited 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 a term not exceeding 14 years.

(4)Unless subsection (3) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section 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.

40Care workers: sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorderE+W

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

(a)he intentionally engages in an activity,

(b)the activity is sexual,

(c)for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he engages in it—

(i)when another person (B) is present or is in a place from which A can be observed, and

(ii)knowing or believing that B is aware, or intending that B should be aware, that he is engaging in it,

(d)B has a mental disorder,

(e)A knows or could reasonably be expected to know that B has a mental disorder, and

(f)A is involved in B’s care in a way that falls within section 42.

(2)Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the other person had a mental disorder, it is to be taken that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that that person had a mental disorder unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know it.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section 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 7 years.

41Care workers: causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual actE+W

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

(a)for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he intentionally causes another person (B) to watch a third person engaging in an activity, or to look at an image of any person engaging in an activity,

(b)the activity is sexual,

(c)B has a mental disorder,

(d)A knows or could reasonably be expected to know that B has a mental disorder, and

(e)A is involved in B’s care in a way that falls within section 42.

(2)Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the other person had a mental disorder, it is to be taken that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that that person had a mental disorder unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know it.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section 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 7 years.

42Care workers: interpretationE+W

(1)For the purposes of sections 38 to 41, a person (A) is involved in the care of another person (B) in a way that falls within this section if any of subsections (2) to (4) applies.

(2)This subsection applies if—

(a)B is accommodated and cared for in a care home, community home, voluntary home [F1, children’s home, or premises in Wales at which a secure accommodation service is provided], and

(b)A has functions to perform F2... in the course of employment [F3in the home or the premises] which have brought him or are likely to bring him into regular face to face contact with B.

[F4(3)This subsection applies if B is a patient for whom services are provided—

(a)by a National Health Service body or an independent medical agency;

(b)in an independent hospital; or

(c)in Wales, in an independent clinic,

and A has functions to perform for the body or agency or in the hospital or clinic in the course of employment which have brought A or are likely to bring A into regular face to face contact with B.]

(4)This subsection applies if A—

(a)is, whether or not in the course of employment, a provider of care, assistance or services to B in connection with B’s mental disorder, and

(b)as such, has had or is likely to have regular face to face contact with B.

(5)In this section—

  • [F5“care home” means—

    (a)

    an establishment in England which is a care home for the purposes of the Care Standards Act 2000 (c. 14); and

    (b)

    a place in Wales at which a care home service, within the meaning of Part 1 of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 is provided wholly or mainly to persons aged 18 or over;]

  • [F6“children’s home”—

    (a)

    has the meaning given by section 1 of the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to a children’s home in England, and

    (b)

    means a place in Wales at which a care home service within the meaning of Part 1 of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 is provided wholly or mainly to persons under the age of 18;]

  • community home” has the meaning given by section 53 of the Children Act 1989 (c. 41);

  • employment” means any employment, whether paid or unpaid and whether under a contract of service or apprenticeship, under a contract for services, or otherwise than under a contract;

  • [F7independent clinic” has the meaning given by section 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000;

  • “independent hospital”—

    (a)

    in England, means—

    (i)

    a hospital as defined by section 275 of the National Health Service Act 2006 that is not a health service hospital as defined by that section; or

    (ii)

    any other establishment in which any of the services listed in section 22(6) are provided and which is not a health service hospital as so defined; and

    (b)

    in Wales, has the meaning given by section 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000;

  • independent medical agency” means an undertaking (not being an independent hospital, or in Wales an independent clinic) which consists of or includes the provision of services by medical practitioners;]

  • National Health Service body” means—

    (a)

    a [F8Local Health Board],

    (b)

    a National Health Service trust,

    (ba)

    [F9the Secretary of State in relation to the exercise of functions under section 2A or 2B of, or paragraph 7C, 8 or 12 of Schedule 1 to, the National Health Service Act 2006,

    (bb)

    a local authority in relation to the exercise of functions under section 2B or 111 of, or any of paragraphs 1 to 7B, or 13 of Schedule 1 to, the National Health Service Act 2006,]

    (c)

    F10...

    (d)

    a Special Health Authority;

  • [F11“secure accommodation service” has the meaning given in Part 1 of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016;]

  • voluntary home” has the meaning given by section 60(3) of the Children Act 1989.

[F12(6)In subsection (5), in the definition of “independent medical agency”, “undertaking” includes any business or profession and—

(a)in relation to a public or local authority, includes the exercise of any functions of that authority; and

(b)in relation to any other body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate, includes any of the activities of that body.]

Textual Amendments

F7S. 42(5): definitions of "independent clinic", "independent hospital" and "independent medical emergency" substituted (1.10.2010) by The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Consequential Amendments No.2) Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/813), art. 13(4)(b)

F8S. 42(5): words in definition of "National Health Service body" substituted (1.4.2007) by The References to Health Authorities Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/961), art. 3, Sch. para. 33

F9S. 42(5) definition of “National Health Service body” paras. (ba), (bb) inserted (1.4.2013) by Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7), s. 306(4), Sch. 5 para. 117(a); S.I. 2013/160, art. 2(2) (with arts. 7-9)

F10S. 42(5) definition of “National Health Service body” para. (c) omitted (1.4.2013) by virtue of Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7), s. 306(4), Sch. 5 para. 117(b); S.I. 2013/160, art. 2(2) (with arts. 7-9)

43Sections 38 to 41: [F13exception for spouses and civil partners]E+W

(1)Conduct by a person (A) which would otherwise be an offence under any of sections 38 to 41 against another person (B) is not an offence under that section if at the time—

(a)B is 16 or over, and

(b)A and B are lawfully married [F14or civil partners of each other].

(2)In proceedings for such an offence it is for the defendant to prove that A and B [F15were at the time lawfully married or civil partners of each other].

Textual Amendments

F13S. 43: words in heading substituted (5.12.2005) by Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), ss. 261(1), 263, Sch. 27 para. 175(4); S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(1)(2), Sch. 1 (subject to art. 2(3)-(5))

44Sections 38 to 41: sexual relationships which pre-date care relationshipsE+W

(1)Conduct by a person (A) which would otherwise be an offence under any of sections 38 to 41 against another person (B) is not an offence under that section if, immediately before A became involved in B’s care in a way that falls within section 42, a sexual relationship existed between A and B.

(2)Subsection (1) does not apply if at that time sexual intercourse between A and B would have been unlawful.

(3)In proceedings for an offence under any of sections 38 to 41 it is for the defendant to prove that such a relationship existed at that time.

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