Sexual Offences Act 1956

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1956 c. 69


Sexual Offences Act , 1956

(4 & 5 Eliz. 2) 69

An Act to consolidate (with corrections and improvements made under the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act, 1949) the statute law of England and Wales relating to sexual crimes, to the abduction, procuration and prostitution of women and to kindred offences, and to make such adaptations of statutes extending beyond England and Wales as are needed in consequence of that consolidation.

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:—

I Offences, and the Prosecution and Punishment of Offences

Part I

Offences, and the Prosecution and Punishmentof Offences

Intercourse by force, intimidation, etc.

Intercourse by force, intimidation, etc.

S-1 Rape.

1 Rape.

(1) It is felony for a man to rape a woman.

(2) A man who induces a married woman to have sexual intercourse with him by impersonating her husband commits rape.

S-2 Procurement of woman by threats.

2 Procurement of woman by threats.

(1) It is an offence for a person to procure a woman, by threats or intimidation, to have unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

(2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section on the evidence of one witness only, unless the witness is corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.

S-3 Procurement of woman by false pretences.

3 Procurement of woman by false pretences.

(1) It is an offence for a person to procure a woman, by false pretences or false representations, to have unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

(2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section on the evidence of one witness only, unless the witness is corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.

S-4 Administering drugs to obtain or facilitate intercourse.

4 Administering drugs to obtain or facilitate intercourse.

(1) It is an offence for a person to apply or administer to, or cause to be taken by, a woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower her so as thereby to enable any man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with her.

(2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section on the evidence of one witness only, unless the witness is corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.

Intercourse with girls under sixteen

Intercourse with girls under sixteen

S-5 Intercourse with girl under thirteen.

5 Intercourse with girl under thirteen.

It is felony for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of thirteen.

S-6 Intercourse with girl between thirteen and sixteen.

6 Intercourse with girl between thirteen and sixteen.

(1) It is an offence, subject to the exceptions mentioned in this section, for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl not under the age of thirteen but under the age of sixteen.

(2) Where a marriage is invalid under section two of the Marriage Act, 1949, or section one of the Age of Marriage Act 1929 (the wife being a girl under the age of sixteen), the invalidity does not make the husband guilty of an offence under this section because he has sexual intercourse with her, if he believes her to be his wife and has reasonable cause for the belief.

(3) A man is not guilty of an offence under this section because he has unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of sixteen, if he is under the age of twenty-four and has not previously been charged with a like offence, and he believes her to be of the age of sixteen or over and has reasonable cause for the belief.

In this subsection, ‘a like offence’ means an offence under this section or an attempt to commit one, or an offence under paragraph (1) of section five of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885 (the provision replaced for England and Wales by this section).

Intercourse with defectives

Intercourse with defectives

S-7 Intercourse with an idiot or imbecile.

7 Intercourse with an idiot or imbecile.

It is an offence for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman whom he knows to be an idiot or imbecile.

S-8 Intercourse with defective

8 Intercourse with defective

(1) It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section, for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who is under care or treatment in an institution, certified house or approved home within the meaning of the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913, or placed out on licence therefrom or under guardianship under that Act.

(2) A man is not guilty of an offence under this section because he has unlawful sexual intercourse with such a woman, if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a defective.

S-9 Procurement of defective.

9 Procurement of defective.

(1) It is an offence, subject to the exception mentioned in this section, for a person to procure a woman who is a defective to have unlawful sexual intercourse in any part of the world.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence under this section because he procures a defective to have unlawful sexual intercourse, if he does not know and has no reason to suspect her to be a defective.

Incest

Incest

S-10 Incest by a man.

10 Incest by a man.

(1) It is an offence for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman whom he knows to be his grand-daughter, daughter, sister or mother.

(2) In the foregoing subsection ‘sister’ includes half-sister, and for the purposes of that subsection any expression importing a relationship between two people shall be taken to apply notwithstanding that the relationship is not traced through lawful wedlock.

S-11 Incest by a woman.

11 Incest by a woman.

(1) It is an offence for a woman of the age of sixteen or over to permit a man whom she knows to be her grandfather, father, brother or son to have sexual intercourse with her by her consent.

(2) In the foregoing subsection ‘brother’ includes half-brother, and for the purposes of that subsection any expression importing a relationship between two people shall be taken to apply notwithstanding that the relationship is not traced through lawful wedlock.

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