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Sexual Offences

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) shortest sentence, (b) shortest suspended sentence and (c) lowest fine handed down by the courts in Northern Ireland was following conviction for (i) rape, (ii) attempted rape, (iii) indecent assault on a female, (iv) indecent assault on a male, (v) indecent assault on a female child, (vi) indecent assault on a male child, (vii) gross indecency with a child, (viii) buggery with a boy under 16 years of age, (ix) buggery with a girl, (x) unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14 years, (xi) unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17 years, (xii) permitting a girl under 17 years to use premises for intercourse, (xiii) incest by man, (xiv) indecent exposure with intent to assault a female, (xv) exposure, (xvi) voyeurism, (xvii) sex offender failing to notify police of change of address, (xviii) breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order, (xix) bigamy, (xx) distributing indecent photographs of children, (xxi) possessing indecent photograph of a child, (xxii) taking indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of children and (xxiii) making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of children in each of the last three years. (154009)

The information requested is contained in the following tables.

Tables 1-3 give the number sentenced to immediate custody and the minimum sentence length (in months) handed down by the courts for those convicted of specific sexual offences for the calendar years 2003 to 2005 (the latest years available). Tables 4-6 provide similar information for those given a suspended sentence.

The number of defendants disposed of by a fine and the minimum fine amount given over the same period are documented in tables 7-9.

Data are collated on the principal offence rule; thus only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Table 1: Number sentenced to immediate custody for sexual offences and the minimum sentence length (in months) given by offence for the year 2003

Offence

Number sentenced to immediate custody

Minimum custodial sentence given (months)

Rape

8

18

Attempted rape

1

24

Indecent assault on female

30

4

Indecent assault on male

4

12

Indecent assault on female child

3

12

Indecent assault on male child

0

1

Gross indecency with child

5

12

Buggery with boy under 16 years

1

84

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

1

60

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

0

1

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

1

Incest by man

0

1

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

0

1

Voyeurism

0

1

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

0

1

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

1

Bigamy

0

1

Distributing indecent photographs of children

0

1

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

0

1

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

1

24

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

0

1

1 Sentence length is not applicable.

Table 2: Number sentenced to immediate custody for sexual offences and the minimum sentence length (in months) given by offence for the year 2004

Offence

Number sentenced to immediate custody

Minimum custodial sentence given (months)

Rape

15

48

Attempted rape

3

48

Indecent assault on female

19

2

Indecent assault on male

9

3

Indecent assault on female child

2

12

Indecent assault on male child1

2

48

Gross indecency with child

3

12

Buggery with boy under 16 years

4

60

Buggery with girl

1

24

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

3

6

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

0

2

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

2

Incest by man

0

2

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

2

Indecent exposure

1

1

Voyeurism

0

2

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

0

2

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

2

Bigamy

0

2

Distributing indecent photographs of children

1

12

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

1

6

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

2

6

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

4

6

1 One offender was sentenced to prison and one given a juvenile justice centre order. The shortest sentence length stated is based on the prison sentence.

2 Sentence length is not applicable.

Table 3: Number sentenced to immediate custody for sexual offences and the minimum sentence length (in months) given by offence for the year 2005

Offence

Number sentenced to immediate custody

Minimum custodial sentence given (months)

Rape

4

48

Attempted rape

4

60

Indecent assault on female

21

3

Indecent assault on male

4

9

Indecent assault on female child

13

6

Indecent assault on male child

3

8

Gross indecency with child

3

8

Buggery with boy under 16 years

1

96

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

3

14

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

0

1

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

1

Incest by man

1

36

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

0

1

Voyeurism

0

1

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

1

3

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

1

Bigamy

1

12

Distributing indecent photographs of children

0

1

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

1

18

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

0

1

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

5

4

1 Sentence length is not applicable.

Table 4: Number sentenced to suspended custody for sexual offences and the minimum sentence length (in months) given by offence for the year 2003

Offence

Number sentenced to suspended custody

Minimum suspended sentence given (months)

Rape

0

1

Attempted rape

0

1

Indecent assault on female

13

3

Indecent assault on male

0

1

Indecent assault on female child

0

1

Indecent assault on male child

0

1

Gross indecency with child

0

1

Buggery with boy under 16 years

0

1

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

3

8

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

1

Incest by man

0

1

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

1

3

Voyeurism

0

1

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

0

1

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

1

Bigamy

1

5

Distributing indecent photographs of children

0

1

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

1

4

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

3

2

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

0

1

1 Sentence length is not applicable.

Table 5: Number sentenced to suspended custody for sexual offences and the minimum sentence length (in months) given by offence for the year 2004

Offence

Number sentenced to suspended custody

Minimum suspended sentence given (months)

Rape

0

1

Attempted rape

0

1

Indecent assault on female

18

1

Indecent assault on male

2

6

Indecent assault on female child

1

24

Indecent assault on male child

2

18

Gross indecency with child

0

1

Buggery with boy under 16 years

2

24

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

1

36

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

1

12

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

1

Incest by man

0

1

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

0

1

Voyeurism

0

1

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

0

1

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

1

Bigamy

0

1

Distributing indecent photographs of children

0

1

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

0

1

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

1

6

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

0

1

1 Sentence length is not applicable.

Table 6: Number sentenced to suspended custody for sexual offences and the minimum sentence length (in months) given by offence for the year 2005

Offence

Number sentenced to suspended custody

Minimum suspended sentence given (months)

Rape

0

1

Attempted rape

0

1

Indecent assault on female

9

2

Indecent assault on male

2

6

Indecent assault on female child

1

18

Indecent assault on male child

2

6

Gross indecency with child

2

2

Buggery with boy under 16 years

0

1

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

2

4

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

1

18

Incest by man

0

1

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

0

1

Voyeurism

1

4

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

0

1

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

1

3

Bigamy

0

1

Distributing indecent photographs of children

1

3

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

1

12

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

1

1

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

0

1

1 Sentence length is not applicable.

Table 7: Number sentenced to a fine for sexual offences and the minimum fine (£) given by offence for the year 2003

Offence

Number sentenced to a fine

Minimum fine given (£)

Rape

0

1

Attempted rape

0

1

Indecent assault on female

3

400

Indecent assault on male

0

1

Indecent assault on female child

0

1

Indecent assault on male child

0

1

Gross indecency with child

0

1

Buggery with boy under 16 years

0

1

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

0

1

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

1

Incest by man

0

1

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

0

1

Voyeurism

0

1

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

0

1

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

1

Bigamy

1

100

Distributing indecent photographs of children

0

1

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

2

250

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

0

1

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

0

1

1 Fine amount is not applicable.

Table 8: Number sentenced to a fine for sexual offences and the minimum fine (£) given by offence for the year 2004

Offence

Number sentenced to a fine

Minimum fine given (£)

Rape

0

1

Attempted rape

0

1

Indecent assault on female

2

150

Indecent assault on male

1

250

Indecent assault on female child

0

1

Indecent assault on male child

0

1

Gross indecency with child

0

1

Buggery with boy under 16 years

0

1

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

0

1

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

1

Incest by man

0

1

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

0

1

Voyeurism

0

1

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

0

1

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

1

Bigamy

0

1

Distributing indecent photographs of children

0

1

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

0

1

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

0

1

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

0

1

1 Fine amount is not applicable.

Table 9: Number sentenced to a fine for sexual offences and the minimum fine (£) given by offence for the year 2005

Offence

Number sentenced to a fine

Minimum fine given (£)

Rape

0

1

Attempted rape

0

1

Indecent assault on female

4

100

Indecent assault on male

0

1

Indecent assault on female child

1

2,500

Indecent assault on male child

0

1

Gross indecency with child

0

1

Buggery with boy under 16 years

0

1

Buggery with girl

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14

0

1

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17

0

1

Permitting girl under 17 to use premises for intercourse

0

1

Incest by man

0

1

Indecent exposure with intent to insult a female

0

1

Indecent exposure

0

1

Voyeurism

0

1

Sex offender failing to notify police of change of address

4

100

Breach of interim sex offender’s prevention order

0

1

Bigamy

0

1

Distributing indecent photographs of children

0

1

Possessing indecent photograph(s) of child(ren)

0

1

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

0

1

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photograph(s) of children

0

1

1 Fine amount is not applicable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland previously convicted of (a) rape and (b) other sexual assault have subsequently committed other sexual offences in each of the last five years. (154011)

Re-offending data are not available and reconviction data are only available for those released from prison in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

It is not possible to break reconviction data into individual sexual offence types. The following table gives the numbers that were released from prison for sexual offences who were subsequently reconvicted for other sexual offences within a two year period. Data are collated on the principal offence rule; thus only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Reconviction rates for those who were discharged from custody after serving sentences for sexual offences (2001-03) and who were reconvicted for sexual offences within a two year period

Number discharged from prison for sexual offences

Number reconvicted for sexual offences within a two year period

2001

51

0

2002

52

1

2003

39

1