HC Deb 21 March 1989 vol 149 c497W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the scope of the very restricted circumstances referred to in the guidelines in his Department's document circular No. 11/87 entitled "Sex Education at School", page 197, paragraph 20(i).

Mr. Butcher

Section 6 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 provides that it is not a criminal offence for a man or boy to have sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 in the following circumstanceswhere he believes that she is over 16 and that he is legally married to her, although the marriage is in fact null under section 2 of the Marriage Act 1949 by reason of her age; in the case of a man or boy under the age of 24 who has not previously been charged with such an offence, if he believes on reasonable grounds that the girl is 16 or older.

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