Crimes (Indecency) Amendment Act 2015

5 New section 124A inserted (Indecent communication with young person under 16)

After section 124, insert:

124A Indecent communication with young person under 16

(1)

A person of or over the age of 16 years is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years if he or she intentionally exposes a person under the age of 16 years (the young person) to indecent material (whether written, spoken, visual, or otherwise, alone or in combination) in communicating in any manner, directly or indirectly, with the young person.

(2)

A reference in subsection (1) to a person under the age of 16 years, or to the young person, includes a reference to a constable (as defined in section 2(1)) who pretends to be a person under the age of 16 years (the fictitious young person) if the person charged with an offence against subsection (1), when communicating with the fictitious young person and exposing the fictitious young person to indecent material, believed that the fictitious young person was a person under the age of 16 years.

(3)

It is a defence to a charge under subsection (1) if the person charged proves that,—

(a)

before communicating with the young person and exposing the young person to the indecent material, the person charged had taken reasonable steps to find out whether the young person was of or over the age of 16 years; and

(b)

at the time of communicating with the young person and exposing the young person to the indecent material, the person charged believed on reasonable grounds that the young person was of or over the age of 16 years.

(4)

It is no defence to a charge under subsection (1) that the person charged did not know that the material to which the charge relates was indecent, unless the person charged also proves—

(a)

that the person charged had no reasonable opportunity of knowing it; and

(b)

that in the circumstances the ignorance of the person charged was excusable.

(5)

No private prosecution (as defined in section 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011) for an offence against this section can be commenced without the Attorney-General’s consent.

Compare: Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, s 24