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Sexual Offences

Solicitor-General written question – answered on 29th June 2005.

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Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Labour, Redcar

To ask the Solicitor-General how many prosecutions for rape and sexual offences have (a) been brought to court and (b) resulted in conviction in the jurisdiction of the Teesside combined courts in the last 12 months.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Solicitor General, Law Officers' Department

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) records are held according to the CPS unit responsible for proceedings rather than the court in which the case was heard.

The following table shows the number and the outcome of proceedings for sexual offences handled by the Teesside Criminal Justice Unit and the Trials Unit in magistrates courts during the period from September 2004, when the present analysis was introduced, to March 2005. During this period, 26 defendants were convicted for sexual offences in magistrates courts, representing 78.8 per cent. of the total proceeded against. Proceedings were discontinued in respect of the remaining seven defendants, whose cases may be regarded as not having been brought to court.

Prosecutions in Teesside Crown court are handled by three CPS units: Durham Trials Unit, Teesside Trials Unit and York Trials Unit. However, these CPS units are also responsible for prosecutions in other crown courts, and it is not possible to disaggregate figures to isolate those relating to Teesside Crown court alone.

A further table shows the number of defendants proceeded against for sexual offences in the Crown court by each of the relevant CPS units. The table also shows the proportion of cases resulting in an unsuccessful outcome and in a conviction. In total, 72 defendants were convicted for sexual offences: (59.5 per cent. of the total proceeded against).

All of the cases shown in the tables for crown court proceedings may be regarded as having been brought to court, with the exception of two cases in which a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant remained unexecuted.

While CPS records provide an analysis of the number and the outcome of proceedings for sexual offences, these figures cannot be further disaggregated to show the outcome of proceedings for rape.

Information from the Home Office Court Proceedings Database shows that in 2003, in the Teesside Crown Court, 28 defendants were proceeded against for rape of a male and rape of a female, of which nine were found guilty. Data for 2004 will be available in the autumn.

CPS proceedings for sexual offences in the Crown court—September 2004-March 2005
Durham Criminal Justice Unit/Trial Unit South % Teesside Trial Unit % York Trial Unit % Total %
Outstanding bench warrants 0 0.0 1 1.9 1 2.4 2 1.7
Judge ordered acquittal 3 11.1 9 17.3 6 14.3 18 14.9
Judge directed acquittal 0 0.0 0 0.0 2 4.8 2 1.7
Jury acquittal 5 18.5 15 28.8 7 16.7 27 22.3
Total unsuccessful outcomes 8 29.6 25 48.1 16 38.1 49 40.5
Guilty plea 14 51 .9 23 44.2 19 45.2 56 46.3
Guilty verdict 5 18.5 4 7.7 7 16.7 16 13.2
Total convictions 19 70.4 27 51.9 26 61.9 72 59.5
Total 27 100.0 52 100.0 42 100.0 121 100.0
CPS proceedings for sexual offences in magistrates courts Teesside: September 2004-March 2005
Number Percentage
Discontinued 7 21.2
Total unsuccessful outcomes 7 21.2
Proved in absence 1 3.0
Guilty plea 24 72.7
Guilty verdict 1 3.0
Total convictions 26 78.8
Total 33 100.0

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