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Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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I am writing a book for parents and have a couple of legal

Customer Question

I am writing a book for parents and have a couple of legal points that need clarification. I would be so grateful if you could help.

1. A 12 year old boy went to a party - all 12/13 year old boys - after dinner the parents disappeared and the birthday boy put on a porn video and masturbated in front of his friends. Could the parents be prosecuted under the Law of Vicarious Responsibility or the Children's Act or is there another law that cover this?
2. If you serve alcohol to under 18's (with their parents verbal consent) and they become so drunk that they get hurt or worse are you liable and again, under what law?

V grateful for any help Alicia Drummond
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

I'm very sorry for the delay you've experienced. On your specific points.

1 Not in any way that I can see. Ultimately they are not responsible for his criminal activity. Actually this is not indecent exposure anyway as this is a private place. I don't know whether you had understood that? Its a common mistake. There is an offence in forcing a child to watch a sexual act but his parents are not responsible for his criminality.

It is possible to sue parents essentially in negligence for failing to control their child. That is just the simple tort of negligence. It is important to remember though that its a lot easier to achieve that with very young children who can be more easily controlled. The older the child, the more autonomous.

Also, here Im not really sure what the loss is. Clearly there is an argument of psychological damage to a degree but its not personal injury or damage to property.

There is an offence of child neglect that is potentially committed if you leave young children alone.

2 Not if you serve alcohol in a private place. Selling alcohol is entirely different as you know but you are actually entitled to give alcohol to children in a private place.

I suppose arguably you could try to make negligence apply as well owe a duty of care to each other save for very limited exceptions.

If you give me about 30 mins I will ask some others if they have any other ideas.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
A family lawyer has just made these additional points.

1 This would give rise to concerns of neglect and there would be visits from social services.

2 This is child abuse within the remit of the family court. What would happen depends on the age of the child. If they are over 16, nothing would happen. If they are 14/15 not a lot would happen. 12/13 or under there would be lots of visits from social services but unlikely to be anything further and under 12 could lead to care proceedings.

This purely about what could happen to the parents though. The other parents have no claim but could obviously instigate a report.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks - if anyone else has any thoughts they would be gratefully received

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
A few people have confirmed that my view of the civil law is correct.

Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
very kind but I think I am ok now thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

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