HC Deb 14 February 2002 vol 380 cc621-2W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what definition is used for a female defective in the Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1999. [33980]

Mr. Denham

The term 'female defective' is mentioned three times in the 'Criminal statistics, England and Wales' as follows:

  1. (i) Man having unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who is a defective. (Sexual Offences Act 1956, Sec 7 (as amended by the Mental Health Act 1959)).
  2. 622W
  3. (ii) Procuring, permitting or causing the prostitution etc. of a female defective. (Sexual Offence Act 1956, Secs 9, 27 and 29).
  4. (iii) Abduction of female defective. (Sexual Offences Act 1956, Sec 32).
  5. and is part of the definition of the offences referred to.

It is defined by the Sexual Offences Act 1956, Sec 45, as substituted by Mental Health Act 1959, Sec 127(1) and amended by the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982, Sch 3, as follows: In this Act 'defective' means a person suffering from a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning'.

The report of the Sex Offences review (set in the boundaries: reforming the law on sex offences) argued that it was 'a demeaning derogatory term' suggested changing the word to 'a person with severe mental incapacity'. in future legislation.

The Government are considering their response to the review.