“Sexual Grooming” is the term used to define criminal conduct which involves the systematic and intentional act of building a relationship with a child in order to gain their trust with the ultimate intention of then subjecting that child to sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or even Human Trafficking.
Sexual Grooming is regarded as one of the most serious forms of criminal conduct in our law and, depending on the seriousness and extent of the conduct, if you are convicted of an offence relating to Sexual Grooming, you could face a significant prison sentence as well as being subject to registration on the Sex Offenders Register.
Sexual Grooming includes conduct which can ultimately involve committing a number of statutory and common law offences along the way, including but not limited to offences such as Rape, sexual intercourse with a child under 16 or threatening communications.
Not surprisingly, Sexual Grooming is a topic which attracts significant public interest both from law enforcement agencies as well as children’s charities and the media. The government have pledged to crack down on those involved in criminal conduct relating to Sexual Grooming and have taken action to ensure Sexual Grooming is a statutory crime.
Statutory Offences relating directly to Sexual Grooming are found in sections 15 and s15A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Section 15A was inserted by s67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 which came into force on 3 April 2017.
S15 makes it a crime for a person over 18 to meet with a child under 16 following Sexual Grooming. The offence will be committed if an adult has met or communicated with a child under 16, intentionally travels to meet the child or has the child travel to meet them, anywhere in the world with the intention of doing something to the child which will involve a relevant offence. A relevant offence will amount to the sexual abuse, exploitation or trafficking of the child. This offence will have been committed even if the meeting has not taken place. The penalty if convicted at summary level can be up to 6 months imprisonment. If convicted on indictment, an accused can face up to 10 years in prison.
Due to s15A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 coming into force on 3 April 2017, it is now a criminal offence to have sexual communication with a child. This effectively criminalises Sexual Grooming itself as opposed to just the end result. This means that it is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to intentionally communicate with a child under 16 for a sexual purpose and the communication is sexual or intended to elicit a sexual response. The offence applies to any communication method whatsoever, whether online or offline communication, including but not limited to, for example, social media, e-mail, texts and letters. If you are convicted of having sexual communication with a child, you could face up to 12 months imprisonment at summary level or up to 2 years imprisonment if convicted on indictment.
If you have been accused of Sexual Grooming, we strongly recommend that you seek expert legal advice from a Sexual Grooming Defence Specialist at the earliest opportunity. At Harris Solicitors, we are aware that regardless of the outcome, even the accusation of such an offence can be devastating to you and those around you. Our highly experienced team are on hand to offer you an initial free confidential discussion about your case with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as soon as you are aware of the accusations against you.
Our solicitors have many years of experience in dealing with Sexual Grooming cases. We are adept at defending our clients both in large-scale multi-defendant and smaller, single defendant cases. We continue to represent accused persons in Sexual Grooming cases as they continue to frequently emerge.
We have an excellent reputation in this area, often obtaining acquittals for our clients. We take every case extremely seriously and you can be assured that our approach to your case will be methodical and thorough, while keeping you informed and fully advised throughout.
We believe our success is down to our experience and determined approach. Preparation and an exemplary understanding of this complex area of law is key to defending offences involving Sexual Grooming.
The defence must diligently examine all the evidence submitted by the police and prosecution and gather their own evidence, especially from third parties and experts. Such evidence can help identify false statements, insufficient evidence and other problems with the reliability and credibility of the prosecution’s evidence.
Our lawyers fully appreciate how devastating allegations of Sexual Grooming can be, their highly sensitive nature and all that is at risk. We treat you and your case with care in order to minimise the impact it has on your life and guarantee confidentiality throughout.
If you have been accused of committing a Sexual Grooming Offence, contact Harris Solicitors without delay. If your matter is urgent and you need to speak to us outside office hours, please use our 24-hour contact numbers.
If you have been accused of any offences relating to Sexual Grooming, don’t delay in seeking legal advice from our highly experienced team of Sexual Grooming Defence Lawyers. We understand what is happening to you and know how to help. We represent clients in Bradford, Yorkshire and the surrounding areas as well across the whole of England and Wales. We regularly represent clients in Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Rochdale, Bolton, Doncaster, Manchester, Bury, Blackburn, York and Harrogate.
You can contact our expert team of Sexual Grooming Defence Solicitors at our Bradford office in West Yorkshire on 01274 392177 or fill out our online form and we will call you back shortly. We offer a free, initial, no obligation consultation and our services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please contact us on 07872835267 or 07590289197 out with normal working hours.
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