Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Bill (HC Bill 208)

A

BILL

TO

Amend section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 to

include serious harm to a child or vulnerable adult; to make consequential

amendments to the Act; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Causing or allowing child or vulnerable adult to suffer serious physical harm

(1) Section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (offence of

causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult) is amended as

follows.

(2) 5In subsection (1)—

(a) in paragraph (a), after “dies” insert “or suffers serious physical harm”;

(b) in paragraph (d), for “V’s death” substitute “the death or serious

physical harm”.

(3) In subsection (3)(a), for “V’s death” substitute “the death or serious physical

10harm”.

(4) In subsection (4)(b), for “V’s death” substitute “the death or serious physical

harm”.

(5) In subsection (7), after “this section” insert “of causing or allowing a person’s

death”.

(6) 15After that subsection insert—

(8) A person guilty of an offence under this section of causing or allowing

a person to suffer serious physical harm is liable on conviction on

indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a

fine, or to both.

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) BillPage 2

(7) The italic heading before section 5 becomes “Causing or allowing a child or

vulnerable adult to die or suffer serious physical harm
”.

(8) The amendments made by this section do not apply in relation to any harm

resulting from an act that occurs, or so much of an act as occurs, before the

5commencement of this section.

2 Evidence and procedure in cases of serious physical harm

After section 6 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 insert—

6A Evidence and procedure in cases of serious physical harm: England

and Wales

(1) 10Subsections (3) to (5) apply where a person (“the defendant”) is charged

in the same proceedings with a relevant offence and with an offence

under section 5 in respect of the same harm (“the section 5 offence”).

(2) In this section “relevant offence” means—

(a) an offence under section 18 or 20 of the Offences against the

15Person Act 1861 (grievous bodily harm);

(b) an offence under section 1 of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 of

attempting to commit murder.

(3) Where by virtue of section 35(3) of the Criminal Justice and Public

Order Act 1994 a court or jury is permitted, in relation to the section 5

20offence, to draw such inferences as appear proper from the defendant’s

failure to give evidence or refusal to answer a question, the court or jury

may also draw such inferences in determining whether the defendant

is guilty of a relevant offence, even if there would otherwise be no case

for the defendant to answer in relation to that offence.

(4) 25The charge of the relevant offence is not to be dismissed under

paragraph 2 of Schedule 3 to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (unless

the section 5 offence is dismissed).

(5) At the defendant’s trial the question whether there is a case for the

defendant to answer on the charge of the relevant offence is not to be

30considered before the close of all the evidence (or, if at some earlier time

the defendant ceases to be charged with the section 5 offence, before

that earlier time).

3 Consequential amendments

The Schedule contains consequential amendments.

4 35Short title, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims

(Amendment) Act 2011.

(2) This Act comes into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order

made by statutory instrument appoint.

(3) 40Subject to subsection (4), this Act extends to England and Wales.

(4) The amendments made by paragraphs 9 to 11 of the Schedule have the same

extent as the provisions to which they relate.

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) BillPage 3

Section 3

Schedule Consequential amendments

Criminal Justice Act 1982

1 In Schedule 1 to the Criminal Justice Act 1982 (offences excluded from early

5release provisions), in Part 2, in the entry relating to section 5 of the Domestic

Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, for “the death of a child or vulnerable

adult” substitute “a child or vulnerable adult to die or suffer serious physical

harm”.

Coroners Act 1988

2 (1) 10The Coroners Act 1988 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 16 (adjournment of inquest in event of criminal proceedings), in

subsection (1)(a)(iv), for “(causing or allowing the death of a child or

vulnerable adult)” substitute “of causing or allowing the death of a child or

vulnerable adult”.

(3) 15In section 17 (provisions supplementary to section 16), in subsections (1)(d)

and (2)(d), for “(causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable

adult)” substitute “of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable

adult”.

(4) The amendments made by this paragraph cease to have effect when the

20repeal of that Act by Schedule 23 to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 has

effect for all purposes.

Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996

3 In section 2 of the Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996 (restriction

on institution of proceedings for fatal offence), in subsection (3)(c), for

25“(causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult)” substitute “of

causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult”.

Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000

4 (1) In Schedule 4 to the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (meaning

of “offence against a child” for purposes of disqualification orders), in

30paragraph 3(sb), for “the death of a child or vulnerable adult” substitute “a

child or vulnerable adult to die or suffer serious physical harm”.

(2) The amendment made by sub-paragraph (1) ceases to have effect when the

repeal of that Schedule by Schedule 10 to the Safeguarding Vulnerable

Groups Act 2006 has effect for all purposes.

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) BillPage 4

Sexual Offences Act 2003

5 In Schedule 5 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (offences for purposes of

making sexual offences prevention orders), in paragraph 63A, for “the death

of a child or vulnerable adult” substitute “a child or vulnerable adult to die

5or suffer serious physical harm”.

Criminal Justice Act 2003

6 In Part 1 of Schedule 15 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (specified violent

offences for purposes of Chapter 5 of Part 12 of that Act), in paragraph 63A,

for “the death of a child or vulnerable adult” substitute “a child or vulnerable

10adult to die or suffer serious physical harm”.

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004

7 The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 is amended as follows.

8 (1) In section 6 (evidence and procedure: England and Wales), in subsection (5),

after “section 5” insert “of causing or allowing a person’s death”.

(2) 15The heading of that section becomes “Evidence and procedure in cases of

death: England and Wales
”.

9 In section 8 (evidence and procedure: the Court Martial), after subsection (3)

insert—

(4) Section 6A(1), (3) and (5) has effect in relation to proceedings before

20the Court Martial with the following adaptations.

(5) A reference to an offence—

(a) listed in section 6A(2), or

(b) under section 5,

is to be read as a reference to an offence under section 42 of the

25Armed Forces Act 2006 as respects which the corresponding offence

under the law of England and Wales (within the meaning given by

that section) is that offence.

(6) A reference to the court or jury is to be read as a reference to the

court.

10 30In section 62(4) (extent of section 8), after “section 6” insert “or 6A”.

Armed Forces Act 2006

11 In section 51 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 (jurisdiction of Service Civilian

Court), in subsection (5)(a), for “(causing or allowing death of child etc)”

substitute “of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult”.

35Coroners and Justice Act 2009

12 In paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009

(suspension of investigations where certain criminal charges may be

brought), in sub-paragraph (6), in paragraph (d) of the definition of

“homicide offence”, for “(causing or allowing the death of a child or

40vulnerable adult)” substitute “of causing or allowing the death of a child or

vulnerable adult”.