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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My autistic 20 year old son has been having consensual sex

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My autistic 20 year old son has been having consensual sex with a 14 year old could he go to prison. She hid her face from us each time she visited the house. She always came to him? He met her at an over 16s gig. Her parents warned him off a month a go and he hasn't seen her since but continued to message her with romantic intentions. He says she was his girlfriend
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Will she give evidence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know? But I have looked on her facebook page she looks older than 14!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
P.d. Her dad was with her at the gig so he passed her off for being 16!??
Yes, the difficulty with that is that despite the fact that he now knows her age he is still messaging her.
Has she complained to the police?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her parents have and we got a call at the house but got them to go away on special measure needed. He said that she told him that her parents were controlling and always did this sort of thing to scare boyfriend off!!
Yes, take no notice of that nonsense. If she had wanted to avoid this she could have just told them that they didn't have sex. Young ladies like this just plain enjoy the attention.
If she is 14 and he is 20 then realistically they will prosecute. They do have a policy of not prosecuting where the parties are of a similar age but the gap here is too large.
He does have a defence. He reasonably believed that she was over 16. What does damage that is that he has been messaging her but it probably is worth an argument on the point. Jurors generally do acquit as the law is very unfair on that point.
If he is convicted though he isn't going to get custody. Its the stigma attached to this particular offence that is not attractive. He will be added to the sex offenders register I'm afraid.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No custody ???? As it was consensual??? He is so limited and can't even tie his shoelaces! We can cope with the rest to a poin but would die several deaths if he was imprisoned, he is so trusting and face value!
Not if she was 14 at the time and he was only 20 and it was all consensual.
People do go to prison for this offence but that tends to involve much older men.
There is a very useful little trick with these nasty allegations but you need to have finance. That is to take out a private prosecution against the young lady for incitement to his offending to which charge she has absolutely no defence if this was consensual sex. CPS may take it over and drop it but it does quite quickly change the view of outraged parents when their innocent little flower ends up in the dock.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I am up for it how do we do the incitement!?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He never sought it she always came to the house here and even hid her age by covering her face... Fashion I believed and never ever rate with us??? Does this helps? In fact one time she came and my son was in the showers. I invited her in to the front room t wait. She sat on the floor with her hoodie up rocking! I thought she was also autistic so backed off!!! How stupid am I too!!
There is quite a good article here
I wouldn't do it yet though. Wait to see what the outcome is of the police investigation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So in a nutshell no prison she instigated and sought out him repeatedly and he has had many opportunities if that way inclined to act. But he thought she was his girlfriend!!! Should I get witness statements to back up his character ASAP?
Not if she was 14 at the time and he was only 20 and it was all consensual.
People do go to prison for this offence but that tends to involve much older men.
I wouldn't do anything until you know the intention of the police. It might all disappear into nothing.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry forgoing on? Why not snow your face I face!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dearie me what a mess! Had a few wines last night also. I am going out of my mind with worry! Hence the last message! I think I was trying to say why would she not show her face? Also if we present at the police station voluntary with an intermediary when it is arranged could he de detained?

I am very concerned now about his anxious state he now says he just wants it sorting out! (ASD kicking in.) "Mum if I say I knew she was not 16 will it be all sorted? " I am fearful that a false confession will result if he is interviewed in this anxious state. Please advise.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

see below

He can be detained but they won't.
Confessions are dangerous. A prepared statement and a no comment interview is the secret here.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh so could I sit him down beforehand and go through a statement and run it past whoever???
No, you cannot coach him.
Just leave it to his solicitor to advise him at the police station.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Didn't" mean coach just help him get things straight in his head and help him with time scales. He struggles with concepts of time. The other week he left his hoodie outside and retrieved it several weeks later..he commented that it had to go in the bin as it had been there a year!! Should I get a clinical psychologist report? Also are there such things ac Autiistic friendly prisons?
No, there is no point.
Just do nothing.
I'm afraid that amounts to coaching.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Elliot has now been bailed. It was traumatic and he is now a mess, digressing back to behaviours of many years ago. Even I suspect bed-wetting.

Could you explain the conditions of his bail?

To cooperate with social services to have a capacity assessment.

(he was a mess and deemed unfit at the station to be interviewed.)

Also: Not to have any contact with anyone under the age of 18 unsupervised by an adult.

Does this mean he can't even go to the shops alone? we don't want to do anything that will be wrong.

We fear for his mental well-being. We have spent years making him as independent as possible!

Please advise.

Thank you

They aren't very helpful conditions.
To co-operate just means to comply with their demands.
'Not to have any contact' is another unhelpful term. It wouldn't normally affect going about his business in public unless he tries to befriend any person under 18.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry I mislead you with my question.

I understand the cooperate..

I wondered what a capacity assessment was and how this would be done?

That is really a family question as it is a matter for social services.
I imagine it means what it suggests though - examine his capacity to understand.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One final question. He is a young vulnerable adult with a history of difficulties that have been well documented over time. Does he too have a right to anonymity and if so how do we go about this?

No, he doesn't.
He is not a minor and so has no right to anonymity.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The police had a change of heart and apologised for his treatment at the station. Yesterday he did a voluntary presentation and was advised to do a no comment interview.
The alleged victim has thrown into the ring that he gave her cocaine?
My son absolutely refutes this. Would this be her word against his ?
The alleged victim has stated it was consensual, always at our home when parents were home and that if her parents hadn't found out that she would still be in the relationship.
Does the new information change how this case might be evaluated?
Well, it is basically what she was always saying apart from the cocaine. She wasn't alleging rape. She was always alleging that they had consensual sex but that she was under 16. I suppose she is saying that he would have known she was under 16.
The gap between their ages is rather wide so they could prosecute. It depends really. They used not to but it is fair to say that sexual offences are often prosecuted on far weaker evidence than for proper crime.