With the weight of changes in the Criminal Law and a vast amount of older statues replaced or repealed it can sometimes be hard to keep pace with all the changes . This case is a timely reminder of the due on Counsel to make sure that the Indictment and offences charged are valid .
The Defendant was tried on various offences and during trial invited Counsel to consider adding a further count of living on prostitution, contrary to section 30(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956. Unfortunately, neither counsel nor the judge, appreciated that the offence had been repealed by schedule 7 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Unaware of this, the court gave leave to amend the indictment to add count 3, the offence contrary to section 30(1) of the 1956 Act and the applicant pleaded guilty. No evidence was offered on counts 1 and 2, such that formal verdicts of not guilty were recorded upon those counts.
The problem was that offence was repealed by schedule 7 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and no substitute offence was available . The Conviction had to be quashed .