Absence of Victims in sentencing for Sexual Offences

Judgment in the case of R v Reed was handed down on the 21st April 2021. The effect is to regularise the position between what had become two divergent streams of authority in relation to attempted sexual offences taking place on-line where there is no ‘victim’. The case is an important one for those advising on and/or mitigating for the relevant offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 given the significant impact on the approach the court will take to assessing the overall category of offending notwithstanding the absence of a victim.

Marie Spenwyn is a criminal defence practitioner of over twenty years experience defending in cases of the utmost severity including across the spectrum of sexual offences. She is a Visiting Lecturer with the University of Law and trained as a facilitator for delivering Vulnerable Witness training.

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