Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1904

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1904 c. 15
Year1904


Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1904

(4 Edw. 7.) CHAPTER 15.

An Act to amend the Law relating to the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

[15th August 1904]

B E it enacted by the King'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:

Cruelty to Children.

Cruelty to Children.

S-1 Punishment for cruelty to children.

1 Punishment for cruelty to children.

(1) If any person over the age of sixteen years, who has the custody, charge or care of any child under the age of sixteen years, wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes such child, or causes or procures such child to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed in a manner likely to cause such child unnecessary suffering or injury to its health (including injury to or loss of sight or hearing or limb or organ of the body and any mental derangement), that person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and

(a ) on conviction on indictment, shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, or alternatively, or in default, of payment of such fine, or in addition thereto, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding two years; and

(b ) on summary conviction, shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds, or alternatively, or in default of payment of such fine, or in addition thereto, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding six months.

(2) A person may be convicted of an offence under this section, either on indictment or by a court of summary jurisdiction, notwithstanding the death of the child in respect of whom the offence is committed.

(3) Upon the trial of any person over the age of sixteen indicted for the manslaughter of a child under the age of sixteen, of which he has had the custody, charge or care, it shall be lawful for the jury, if they are satisfied that the accused has been guilty of an offence under this section in respect of such child, to find the accused guilty of such offence.

(4) If it is proved that a person indicted under this section was directly or indirectly interested in any sum of money accruable or payable in the event of the death of the child, and had knowledge that such sum of money was accruing or becoming payable, the court, in its discretion, may—

(a ) increase the amount of the fine under this section so that the fine does not exceed two hundred pounds; or

(b ) in lieu of awarding any other penalty under this section, sentence the person indicted to penal servitude for any term not exceeding five years.

(5) A person shall be deemed to be directly or indirectly interested in a sum of money under this section if he has any share in or any benefit from the payment of that money, though he is not a person to whom it is legally payable.

(6) A copy of a policy of insurance, certified by an officer or agent of the insurance company granting the policy to be a true copy, shall, in any proceedings under this Act, be prim facie evidence that the child therein stated to be insured has been in fact so insured, and that the person in whose favour the said policy has been granted is the person to whom the money thereby insured is legally payable.

(7) An offence under this section is in this Act referred to as an offence of cruelty.

Restrictions on Employment of Children.

Restrictions on Employment of Children.

S-2 Restrictions on employment of children.

2 Restrictions on employment of children.

2. If any person—

a ) causes or procures any child, being a boy under the age of fourteen years, or being a girl under the age of sixteen years, or, having the custody, charge or care of any such child, allows that child to be in any street, premises or place for the purpose of begging or receiving alms, or of inducing the giving of alms, whether under the pretence of singing, playing performing, offering anything for sale, or otherwise or
b ) causes or procures any child, being a boy under the age of fourteen years, or beings girl under the age of sixteen years, or, having the custody, charge or care of any such child, allows that child to be in any street or in any premises licensed for the sale of any intoxicating liquor, other than premises licensed according to law for public entertainments, for the purpose of singing, playing or performing, or being exhibited for profit, or offering anything for sale, between nine p.m. and six a.m.; or
c ) causes or procures any child under the age of eleven years, or, having the custody, charge or care of any such child, allows that child to be at any time in any street, or in any premises licensed for the sale of any intoxicating liquor, or in premises licensed according to law for public entertainments, or in any circus or other place of public amusement to which the public are admitted by payment, for the purpose of singing playing or performing, or being exhibited for profit, or offering anything for sale; or
d ) causes or procures any child under the age of sixteen years, or, having the custody, charge or care of any such child, allows that child to be in any place for the purpose of being trained as an acrobat, contortionist or circus performer, or of being trained for any exhibition or performance which in its nature is dangerous,

that person shall, on summary conviction, be liable, at the discretion of the court, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds, or alternatively, or in default of payment of such fine, or in addition thereto, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding three months:

Provided that—

(i) This section shall not apply in the case of any occasional sale or entertainment the net proceeds of which are wholly applied for the benefit of any school or to any charitable object, if such sale or entertainment is held elsewhere than in premises which are licensed for the sale of any intoxicating liquor but not licensed according to law for public entertainments, or if, in the case of a sale or entertainment held in any such premises as aforesaid, a special exemption from the provisions of this section has been granted in writing under the hands of two justices of the peace; and

(ii)Any local authority may, if they think it necessary or desirable so to do, from time to time by byelaw extend or restrict the hours mentioned in paragraph (b ) of this section, either on every day or on any specified day or days of the week and either as to the whole of their district or as to any specified area therein; and
(iii)Paragraphs (c ) and (d ) of this section shall not apply in any case in respect of which a licence granted under this Act is in force, so far as that licence extends.
S-3 Licences for employment of children.

3 Licences for employment of children.

(1) A petty sessional court, or in Scotland the School Board, may, notwithstanding anything in this Act or in the Employment of Children Act, 1903 , or any byelaw made thereunder, grant a licence, for such time and during such hours of the day and subject to such restrictions and conditions as the court or board think fit, for any child exceeding ten years of age—

(a ) to take part in any entertainment or series of entertainments to take place in premises licensed according to law for public entertainments, or in any circus or other place of public amusement as aforesaid; or

(b ) to be trained as aforesaid; or

(c ) for both purposes;

if satisfied of the fitness of the child for the purpose, and if it is shown to their satisfaction that proper provision has been made to secure the health and kind treatment of the children taking part in the entertainment or series of entertainments or being trained as aforesaid, and the court or board may, upon sufficient cause, vary, add to or rescind any such licence.

Any such licence shall be sufficient protection to all persons acting under or in accordance with the same.

(2) It shall be the duty of inspectors and other officers charged with the execution of the Employment of Children Act, 1903, to see whether the restrictions and conditions of any licence under this section are duly complied with, and any such inspector or officer shall have the same power to enter, inspect and examine any place of public entertainment, at which the employment of a child is for the time being licensed under this section, as an inspector appointed under the Factory and Workshop Acts 1901, has to enter, inspect and examine a factory or workshop under section one hundred and nineteen of that Act, and that section shall apply accordingly.

(3) Where any person applies for a licence under this section, he shall, at least seven days before making the application, give notice thereof to the chief officer of police for the district in which the licence is to take effect, and that officer may appear or instruct some person to appear before the authority hearing the application, and show cause why the licence should not be granted, and the authority to whom the application is made shall not grant the same unless they are satisfied that notice has been properly so given.

(4) Where a licence is granted under this section to any person, that person shall forthwith cause a copy thereof to be sent to the local authority for the district in which the licence is to take effect, and if he fails to cause such copy to be sent shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five pounds.

(5) Nothing in this or in the last preceding section shall affect the provisions of the Elementary Education Act, 1876 , or the Education (Scotland) Act, 1878 , as amended by any later enactment.

Arrest of Offender and Provision for Safety of Children.

Arrest of Offender and Provision for Safety of Children.

S-...

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