This is a difficult and sensitive subject, but I think it’s worth a brief [THREAD] looking at the truth behind the headlines.
It is a long established principle of the common law that a person cannot legally consent to being injured or killed.
So what then is the rough sex defence? It’s a term adopted by campaigners after a series of cases in which men avoided convictions for murder after claiming that fatal injuries had been caused during consensual sex.
It is all to do with how the law of murder works.
If the prosecution can’t prove that intent, they can’t prove murder.
And it’s in that context that consensual rough sex can become relevant.
Also important to note that if a jury couldn’t be sure that the defendant intended to kill/cause GBH, he would still likely be guilty of manslaughter.
And if they didn’t have that intention, they shouldn’t be convicted of murder.
And that’s why, contrary to the news reports, the “defence” hasn’t been abolished at all.
One key part is awareness-raising, on which the campaigners have done a tremendous job. The more the public is aware of this trope, the more critical juries and prosecutors will be when assessing a defendant’s claim, and the lower the chance of hoodwinking.