Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1885 c. 69


Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885

(48 & 49 Vict.) CHAPTER 69.

An Act to make further provision for the Protection of Women and Girls, the suppression of brothels, and other purposes.

[14th August 1885]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

S-1 Short title.

1 Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885.

I

Part I.

Protection of Women and Girls.

Protection of Women and Girls.

S-2 Procuration.

2 Procuration.

Any person who—

(1) (1.) Procures or attempts to procure any girl or woman under twenty-one years of age, not being a common prostitute, or of known immoral character, to have unlawful carnal connexion, either within or without the Queen's dominions, with any other person or persons; or

(2) (2.) Procures or attempts to procure any woman or girl to become, either within or without the Queen's dominions, a common prostitute; or

(3) (3.) Procures or attempts to procure any woman or girl to leave the United Kingdom, with intent that she may become an inmate of a brothel elsewhere; or

(4) (4.) Procures or attempts to procure any woman or girl to leave her usual place of abode in the United Kingdom (such place not being a brothel), with intent that she may, for the purposes of prostitution, become an inmate of a brothel within or without the Queen's dominions,

shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

Provided that no person shall be convicted of any, offence under this section upon the evidence of one witness, unless such witness be corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.

S-3 Procuring defilement of woman by threats or fraud or administering drugs.

3 Procuring defilement of woman by threats or fraud or administering drugs.

Any person who—

(1) (1.) By threats or intimidation procures or attempts to procure any woman or girl to have any unlawful carnal connexion, either within or without the Queen's dominions; or

(2) (2.) By false pretences or false representations procures any woman or girl, not being a common prostitute or of known immoral character, to have any unlawful carnal connexion, either within or without the Queen's dominions; or

(3) Applies, administers to, or causes to be taken by any woman or girl any drug, matter, or thing, with intent to stupefy or overpower so as thereby to enable any person to have unlawful carnal connexion with such woman or girl,

shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

Provided that no person shall be convicted of an offence under this section upon the evidence of one witness only, unless such witness be corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.

S-4 Defilement of girl under thirteen years of age.

4 Defilement of girl under thirteen years of age.

Any person who—

unlawfully and carnally knows any girl under the acre of thirteen years

shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be kept in penal servitude for life, or for any term not less than five years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

Any person who attempts to have unlawful carnal knowledge of any girl under the age of thirteen years shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

Provided that in the case of an offender whose age does not exceed sixteen years, the court may, instead of sentencing him to any term of imprisonment, order him to be whipped, as prescribed by the Act of the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth Victoria, chapter eighteen, intituled ‘An Act to amend the law as to the Whipping of Juvenile and other Offenders,’ and the said Act shall apply, so far as circumstances admit, as if the offender had been convicted in manner in that Act mentioned; and if, having regard to his age and all the circumstances of the case, it should appear expedient, the court may, in addition to the sentence of whipping, order him to be sent to a certified reformatory school, and to be there detained for a period of not less than two years and not more than five years.

The court may also order the offender to be detained in custody for a period of not more than seven days before he is sent to such reformatory school.

Where, upon the hearing of a charge under this section, the girl in respect of whom the offence is charged to have been committed, or any other child of tender years who is tendered as a witness, does not, in the opinion of the court or justices, understand the nature of an oath, the evidence of such girl or other child of tender years may be received, though not given upon oath, if, in the opinion of the court or justices, as the case may be, such girl or other child of tender years is possessed of sufficient intelligence to justify the reception of the evidence, and understands the duty of speaking the truth: Provided that no person shall be liable to be convicted of the offence unless the testimony admitted by virtue of this section and given on behalf of the prosecution shall be corroborated by some other material evidence in support thereof implicating the accused: Provided also, that any witness whose evidence has been admitted under this section shall be liable to indictment and punishment for perjury in all respects as if he or she had been sworn.

Whereas doubts have been entertained whether a man who induces a married woman to permit him to have connexion with her by personating her husband is or is not guilty of rape, it is hereby enacted and declared that every such offender shall be deemed to be guilty of rape.

S-5 Defilement of girl between thirteen and sixteen years of age.

5 Defilement of girl between thirteen and sixteen years of age.

Any person who—

(1) (1.) Unlawfully and carnally knows or attempts to have unlawful carnal knowledge of any girl being of or above the age of thirteen years and under the age of sixteen years; or

(2) Unlawfully and carnally knows, or attempts to have unlawful carnal knowledge of any female idiot or imbecile woman or girl, under circumstances which do not amount to rape, but which prove that the offender knew at the time of the commission of the offence that the woman or girl was an idiot or imbecile,

shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

Provided that it shall be a sufficient defence to any charge under sub-section one of this section if it shall be made to appear to the court or jury before whom the charge shall be brought that the person so charged had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was of or above the age of sixteen years.

Provided also, that no prosecution shall be commenced for an offence under sub-section one of this section more than three months after the commission of the offence.

S-6 Householder, &c. permitting defilement of young girl on his premises.

6 Householder, &c. permitting defilement of young girl on his premises.

Any person who, being the owner or occupier of any premises, or having, or acting or assisting in, the management or control thereof—

induces or knowingly suffers any girl of such age as is in this section mentioned to resort to or be in or upon such premises for the purpose of being unlawfully and carnally known by any man, whether such carnal knowledge is intended to be with any particular man or generally,

(1) shall, if such girl is under the age of thirteen years, be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be kept in penal servitude for life, or for any term not less than five years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour; and

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