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What is the Required Standard of Consent for Sexual Offences?

What is the Required Standard of Consent for Sexual Offences?


We are contacted frequently by people who have been accused of sexual offences but who state that while sexual activity did take place, it was consensual.


This raises a common question: what is the required standard of consent?


A sexual offence will not have occurred where the complainant consented to the actions of the accused or where the accused had reasonable grounds to believe that consent had been given.


The complainant must have been old enough to give consent, and consent is never a relevant factor where the complainant is under 13 years of age.


If the complainant was asleep or unconscious, the court will presume that consent was not given.


Whether it is plausible that the accused would have reasonably believed that the complainant had given consent will be judged based on all circumstances of the specific case.


If you are being investigated for, or charged with, a sexual offence, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.  Our team are ready to take your call, without judgement, on 01623 397200.




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