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Sexual intercourse offence convictions towards 15 persons set apart more than ‘legislative error’


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Sexual intercourse offence convictions towards 15 persons set apart more than ‘legislative error’

Sex offence convictions against 15 people are to be set aside because of “legislative error,” the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has said.The cases involve 17 victims, the majority of whom were children at the time the offences occurred.The PPS has discovered “a technical change in the law” in 2009 meant the cases should not have…

Sexual intercourse offence convictions towards 15 persons set apart more than ‘legislative error’

Laganside Courts, Belfast

Sex offence convictions from 15 folks are to be established apart for the reason that of “legislative mistake,” the General public Prosecution Service (PPS) has explained.

The cases require 17 victims, the the vast majority of whom were being small children at the time the offences happened.

The PPS has identified “a specialized alter in the legislation” in 2009 meant the situations should not have been prosecuted in a magistrates courtroom.

It explained it is “genuinely sorry” for the distress the information will bring about victims.

The PPS will now think about whether or not or not to re-operate the conditions in a crown court docket.

The situations go over offences of indecent assault or illegal carnal information which happened between 1973 and 2009.

PPS assistant director Ciaran McQuillan said: “This enhancement will have appear as a good shock and disappointment to the victims.

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“It will also result in uncertainty for the defendants involved.

“The PPS has organized for supply of letters to all individuals afflicted with a in depth clarification of how the problem arose and the measures we are now proposing to take.”

The PPS explained it was uncovered that an amendment to laws in 2009 experienced “unintentionally eradicated” the offences from people which could be prosecuted in a magistrates courtroom.

That meant that from that level onwards the offences could only be prosecuted in the crown court.

As this transform was inadvertent, it was not highlighted at the time to any of the agencies or practitioners in the felony justice process, such as the PPS.

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