The 'rough sex gone wrong' defence is to be banned
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Defense that is used in court to justify the death of a woman during sex is to be banned in the new domestic abuse legislation, Justice Minister Alex Chalk told MPs yesterday in the House of Commons.
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Defense against "hard sex" - also known as a "sex game went wrong" defense - has been used by the We We campaign group more than 60 times since 1972 in Britain to defend criminals accused of murder. t consent to this.
The Domestic Abuse Act, which has been under preparation since 2018 but has suffered numerous setbacks due to Brexit and other issues, is expected to be enshrined later this year. MP Alex Chalk told his parliamentary colleagues:
"It is incomprehensible for the accused to claim that a woman's death is justifiable, excusable, or legally justifiable because that woman has engaged in violent and harmful sexual activity that has resulted in her death simply because she has consented."
Defense against “rough sex”, if accepted by the court, could currently lead to a minimized indictment (and thus to a conviction). According to We Can't Consent To This, 45% of the 60 cases they highlighted resulted in "lower charges of manslaughter, easier punishment, or death that was not investigated as a crime at all".
Photo credit: David Cheskin - Getty Images
As Jess Phillips, Labor's shadow minister for domestic violence and protection, stressed yesterday in the Commons' Public Bill Committee, it is unacceptable that when a woman is dead, "she cannot speak for herself," but it is possible for a man accused of killing her to "just say she wanted it".
"The law should be clear to everyone - you can't agree to serious injuries or deaths, but case law isn't up to the task," said Phillips.
Perhaps the most recent example of an attempt at "harsh sexual" defense in court (though not a British court) was Grace Millane. The British backpacker was killed by a man she had hooked up with, but in his murder trial late last year, he insisted that Grace accidentally die because he had choked on consensual sex.
Credit: REX / Shutterstock - Rex
The defense provided evidence in court that the young woman had previously experimented with asphyxiation during sex. While the jury ultimately found the unidentified man guilty of murder - and not manslaughter, as his legal team claimed - it was undoubtedly worrying for Grace's family to see their sexual history manipulated to try to excuse the murder.
Grace's murderer is now serving at least 17 years in prison for his crime, although it is believed that he will appeal the conviction.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson supported the intention to abolish the "gap" defense and said, "We are committed to making the law clear and the defense inexcusable."
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