Children Act, 2001

Causing or encouraging sexual offence upon child.

249.—(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, having the custody, charge or care of a child, he or she causes or encourages unlawful sexual intercourse or buggery with the child or causes or encourages the seduction or prostitution of, or a sexual assault on, the child.

(2) A person found guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding £25,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.

(3) For the purposes of this section a person shall be deemed to have caused or encouraged—

(a) unlawful sexual intercourse or buggery with any child with whom unlawful sexual intercourse or buggery has taken place, or

(b) the seduction or prostitution of a child who has been seduced or become a prostitute or a sexual assault on a child who has been sexually assaulted,

if the person has knowingly allowed the child to consort with, or to enter or continue in the employment of, any prostitute or keeper of a brothel.

(4) In this section—

“child” means a child under 17 years of age;

“keeper of a brothel” means a person referred to in section 11 (which relates to brothel keeping) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act, 1993 ;

“sexual assault” has the meaning assigned to it by the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act, 1990 .

(5) References in this section to sexual intercourse shall be construed as references to carnal knowledge as defined in section 63 of the Offences against the Person Act, 1861 .