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Sexual Offence

Here at Harwood Solicitors we have expertise in representing individuals accused of sexual offences. Such cases need to be handled extremely delicately and sensitively for both the victim and the alleged offender. Sexual crimes can be incredibly hard to deal with in court on your own and it is highly recommended that anyone who requires representation instructs a reputable solicitor with experience within the field such as Harwood Solicitors.

Being wrongly convicted of a sexual offence can be extremely costly; not only can it tear families apart but it can also hinder career opportunities and it can remand on an individuals record for life. Everyone is entitled to legal representation to ensure the justice system is fair which is why hiring a qualified, experienced solicitor is essential.

There are a number of different sexual offences we cover with varying levels of punishment here is a breakdown of the offences we cover:


Grooming is a relatively new offence which involves an adult communicating (online for instance) with a child (under 16 years old) and going to meet them with intentions of committing a sexual offence. No sexual offence needs to take place, simply going to meet them and intending to do something is enough to be charged with grooming. Due to the dangers of internet chat rooms, undercover police often pose as children to lure and uncover grooming.

Indecent Images and Child Pornography

This offence covers possessing, distributing and/or creating indecent images/media of children. Pseudo photographs are also covered by this offence.

Presumption of Non Consent

In some rape and sexual assault cases, the court may decide that consent did not exist. In these cases, it must be proven by the defendant that there was consent. Some examples of where consent is presumed not to exist are; if the victim was physically disabled, unconscious or if there was evidence of violence used against the victim. Some of the more difficult cases to prove whether consent did exist are those where the alleged victim had consumed a lot of alcohol. In such cases CCTV footage and forensic statements may be required for defence.

Sentencing Guidelines for Sexual Offences

Sexual assault and grooming offences are the least serious in this category and can be tried in the Crown or Magistrates Court, attracting a maximum sentence of 10 years when tried in the Crown Court.

The more serious offences such as rape allegations and assault by penetration are only dealt with in the Crown Courts. The maximum sentence for these is life imprisonment.

With indecent images, the sentencing levels can vary depending on the nature of the photographs and the quantity. There are 5 different levels to indecent images, with level 5 being the most serious and therefore, attracting the highest sentence.

Sexual offences can be incredibly hard to deal with in court so we strongly advice you contact a sexual offence solicitor like Harwood Solicitors to get the best possible case for defence. Whether you simply require information for yourself or someone else regarding a sexual crime then don?t hesitate to drop us a confidential email by using our contact form or a call us on 01254 505090.