R v Marangwanda [2009] EWCA Crim 60

Whether the reckless transmission of STIs to others in the course of ordinary , particularly children, merits a charge of grievous bodily harm and the issuing of a sexual offences prevention order.

Facts

The defendant was responsible for assisting in caring for two young children, as he was engaged in a romantic relationship with their mother. The defendant had already been diagnosed with gonorrhoea, and received the relevant treatment. A month later, both children were also diagnosed with gonorrhoea. The defendant was thus charged with two counts of sexual activity with a child, in violation of s. 9 of the 2003 Sexual Offences Act, however these charges were unsuccessful due to lack of evidence. The primary focus of the instance case was whether the defendant could be separately convicted of GBH under s. 20 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, for having recklessly transmitted gonorrhoea to the two child victims by ordinary as a result of bad personal hygiene.

Issues

Could an individual who acted recklessly in failing to prevent the reasonably foreseeable transmission of a sexually transmitted infection to children be subject to a sexual offences prevention order.

Held

The Court partially allowed the defendant’s appeal against his initial conviction, reducing his sentence, which subsequently invalidated the order which would have prevented him from working with children again. However, the Court found that despite this, the defendant’s actions still amounted to serious sexual harm, and so a charge of GBH remained applicable and a sexual offences prevention order could thus still be appropriately issued.

Words: 265