Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1995 c. 39


Criminal Law (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 1995

1995 CHAPTER 39

An Act to consolidate for Scotland certain enactments creating offences and relating to criminal law there.

[8th November 1995]

Be 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:—

I Sexual Offences

Part I

Sexual Offences

Incest and related offences

Incest and related offences

S-1 Incest.

1 Incest.

(1) Any male person who has sexual intercourse with a person related to him in a degree specified in column 1 of the Table set out at the end of this subsection, or any female person who has sexual intercourse with a person related to her in a degree specified in column 2 of that Table, shall be guilty of incest, unless the accused proves that he or she—

(a) did not know and had no reason to suspect that the person with whom he or she had sexual intercourse was related in a degree so specified; or

(b) did not consent to have sexual intercourse, or to have sexual intercourse with that person; or

(c) was married to that person, at the time when the sexual intercourse took place, by a marriage entered into outside Scotland and recognised as valid by Scots law.

Table

Degrees of Relationship

Column 1 Column 2
1. Relationships by consanguinity

1. Relationships by consanguinity

Mother Father
Daughter Son
Grandmother Grandfather
Grand-daughter Grandson
Sister Brother
Aunt Uncle
Niece Nephew
Great grandmother Great grandfather
Great grand-daughter Great grandson

2. Relationships by adoption

Adoptive mother or former adoptive mother.

Adoptive father or former adoptive father.

Adopted daughter or former adopted daughter.

Adopted son or former adopted son.

(2) For the purpose of this section, a degree of relationship exists in the case of a degree specified in paragraph 1 of the Table—

(a) whether it is of the full blood or the half blood; and

(b) even where traced through or to any person whose parents are not or have not been married to one another.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt sexual intercourse between persons who are not related to each other in a degree referred to in subsection (1) above is not incest.

S-2 Intercourse with step-child.

2 Intercourse with step-child.

2. Any step-parent or former step-parent who has sexual intercourse with his or her step-child or former step-child shall be guilty of an offence if that step-child is either under the age of 21 years or has at any time before attaining the age of 18 years lived in the same household and been treated as a child of his or her family, unless the accused proves that he or she—

(a) did not know and had no reason to suspect that the person with whom he or she had sexual intercourse was a step-child or former step-child; or

(b) believed on reasonable grounds that that person was of or over the age of 21 years; or

(c) did not consent to have sexual intercourse, or to have sexual intercourse with that person; or

(d) was married to that person, at the time when the sexual intercourse took place, by a marriage entered into outside Scotland and recognised as valid by Scots law.

S-3 Intercourse of person in position of trust with child under 16.

3 Intercourse of person in position of trust with child under 16.

(1) Any person of or over the age of 16 years who—

(a) has sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 years;

(b) is a member of the same household as that child; and

(c) is in a position of trust or authority in relation to that child,

shall be guilty of an offence, unless the accused proves that subsection (2) below applies in his or her case.

(2) This subsection applies where the accused—

(a) believed on reasonable grounds that the person with whom he or she had sexual intercourse was of or over the age of 16 years; or

(b) did not consent to have sexual intercourse, or to have sexual intercourse with that person; or

(c) was married to that person, at the time when the sexual intercourse took place, by a marriage entered into outside Scotland and recognised as valid by Scots law.

S-4 Proceedings and penalties for offences under sections 1 to 3.

4 Proceedings and penalties for offences under sections 1 to 3.

(1) Proceedings in respect of an offence under section 1, 2 or 3 of this Act may be brought on indictment or, if the Lord Advocate so directs, on a summary complaint before the sheriff.

(2) Summary proceedings in pursuance of this section may be commenced at any time within the period of 6 months from the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the Lord Advocate to justify the proceedings comes to his knowledge.

(3) Subsection (3) of section 136 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (date of commencement of summary proceedings) shall have effect for the purposes of subsection (2) above as it has effect for the purposes of that section.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) above, a certificate of the Lord Advocate as to the date on which the evidence in question came to his knowledge is conclusive evidence of the date on which it did so.

(5) Subject to subsection (6) below, a person guilty of an offence under section 1, 2 or 3 of this Act shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for any term of imprisonment up to and including life imprisonment; and

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.

(6) Before passing sentence on a person convicted of any such offence, the court shall—

(a) obtain information about that person's circumstances from an officer of a local authority or otherwise and consider that information; and

(b) take into account any information before it which is relevant to his character and to his physical and mental condition.

(7) In subsection (6) above, ‘local authority’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(2) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 .

Offences against children

S-5 Intercourse with girl under 16.

5 Intercourse with girl under 16.

(1) Any person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with any girl under the age of 13 years shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

(2) Any person who attempts to have unlawful sexual intercourse with any girl under the age of 13 years shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

(3) Without prejudice to sections 1 to 4 of this Act, any person who has, or attempts to have, unlawful sexual intercourse with any girl of or over the age of 13 years and under the age of 16 years shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

(4) No prosecution shall be commenced for an offence under subsection (3) above more than one year after the commission of the offence.

(5) It shall be a defence to a charge under subsection (3) above that the person so charged—

(a) had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was his wife; or

(b) being a man under the age of 24 years who had not previously been charged with a like offence, had reasonable cause to believe that the girl was of or over the age of 16 years.

(6) In subsection (5) above, ‘a like offence’ means an offence under—

(a) subsection (3) above; or

(b) section 4(1) or 10(1) of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 1976 or section 5 or 6 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the enactments formerly creating the offences mentioned in subsection (3) above and section 10(1) of this Act); or

(c) section 6 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 (the provision for England and Wales corresponding to subsection (3) above), or with an attempt to commit such an offence; or

(d) section 9(1) of this Act.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (4) above, a prosecution shall be deemed to commence on the date on which a warrant to apprehend or to cite the accused is granted, if such warrant is executed without undue delay.

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