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Gay Labour councillor loses legal challenge over underage sex

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  1. Alistair Mann 8 Dec 2009, 3:29pm

    Can someone explain this? I’m pretty sure that the age of consent for gay sex was 16 in 2007. I thought it was the Sexual Offences Act (Amendment) in 2000 that lowered the age of consent for homosexual acts. Can anyone enlighten me?

  2. Bizarre. Presumably in the public interest to make an arrest where no prosecution was remotely likely. But not in the public interest to find out why this arrest was carried out. The only reason possible seems to be to discriminate against Mr Bayes.

  3. I’m not an expert, but Northern Ireland has many different laws to the rest of the UK, EG abortion laws are not the same. It seems it wants to be part of the UK at certain times and for certain reasons, but not if it wants to have different laws to suit itself, such as age of consent.

  4. It was 16 in the rest of the UK but not in Northern Ireland. I think it was left at 17 to keep it in line with Eire.

  5. @Alistair – the Sexual Offcences (Amendment) Act 2000 applied to England & Wales … just another example of the utter stupidity of the present constitutional arrangements. In 1997 {I think} in the Case of Sutherland V The United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights held that a higher age of consent for homosexuals than for heterosexuals was a breach of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention. In response, the Government introduced the Crime and Disorder Bill which contained a provision lowering the age of consent for homosexual acts to Though accepted by the House of Commons, the provision was rejected by the House of Lords. The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, introduced in 1998, contained a similar provision, but once again it was rejected by the House of Lords. The Bill was reintroduced in 2000 and, despite opposition from the House of Lords, was passed under the Parliament Act 1911 (which allows the House of Commons to overrule the House of Lords under certain circumstances).
    Since this was a devolved matter it too the authorities until 2008 to equalise the Age of Consent in Northern Ireland.

    It’s an utter nonsense that, since the UK Government passed the relevant legislation introducing the provisions of The European Court of Human Rights into UK Law, and did so on behalf of all UK citizens, that some of those same citizens have to wait years to enjoy the full rights enjoyed by others of their fellow citizens.

    It was the same with the decriminalising of homosexuality in Northern Ireland, in 1967 it was decriminalised in England & Wales; it took several brave and courageous men to take the Government to the ECHR and they won the case, but the Government was too timid to rise to their obligations and allowed the passage of time to force them to do the right time, with the result that decriminalisation was not enacted in Northern Ireland until 1982 – a full fifteen years where one section of UK citizens were being dnied the right enjoyed by their fellow citizens in another part of the UK.

    Of course it is also clear that if the Police had been more professional they would have been well aware that these two guys were simply doing what was perfectly legal at home, they just had the misfortune to ‘do it’ somewhere which was almost a decade behind the rest of the UK. Surely a simple caution explaining the idiocy and oddity of the Law would have been more than enough in such circumstances. To arrest, search homes and offices and involve the Public Prosecution Service sadly smacks of homophobic behaviour by the Police.

  6. Excellent, well-informed comment, AndySam. Thank you.

  7. Justin Hinchcliffe 8 Dec 2009, 5:09pm

    Poor guy!

  8. David Burgess 8 Dec 2009, 6:31pm

    Well has the world gone crazy? How can it be morally acceptable for a man of 47 to be in a sexual relationship with a 17 year old?

  9. theotherone 8 Dec 2009, 6:49pm

    david: it is not our place to comment. A 17 year old may be immature or may be decidedly mature.

    Unfortunately this sounds like a fudge (pardon the possible pun)as the individual applied too late to have his case heard.

    Still I agree that no prosecution should have been sought.

  10. Will the Scouser 8 Dec 2009, 6:59pm

    “How can it be morally acceptable for a man of 47 to be in a sexual relationship with a 17 year old?”

    Whether it’s MORALLY acceptable is not the point. It’s perfectly legal – whether it’s considered morally acceptable or not – for a man of 47 to be in a sexual relationship with a consenting 17 year old female. It should therefore be perfectly legal for a man of the same age to be in a sexual relationship with a consenting 17 year old male. It’s a matter of equality.

  11. Coemgenus 8 Dec 2009, 7:00pm

    It is none of our business what the difference in age was between the couple.

    The issue actually is one of just how many lives have been ruined or harassed due to the ridiculously negative ability of Ulster god-botherers to slow down the implementation of equality legislation across all parts of the “United” Kingdom. The fact that an English couple, resident in England, but travelling in Ulster, could be arrested and humiliated courtesy of a religioulsly inspired law – “protect Ulster from sodomy” and all that, should be enough to make people thik a little harder about how much wriggle room these dreadgul medievalists have been given to wriggle out of Human Rights legislation. Why are they pandered to so much? Absolutely amazing.

  12. Incredible. It fffing well shouldn’t be legal. Not for a 47 year old to be involved with any 17 year old regardless of gender. Human rights legilations! Coemgenus, do you have any children? I have four and if this turd came near anyone of them at age 17 he would have his balls removed. It’s disgusting to see comments justifying this because “it’s the law” Its a filthy law that would allow this. What would our grandfathers think of this disgustinig culture that has nine out of eleven commentors on this story justifying the actions of this parasite regardless of the legalities involved. You should all be calling for this guys balls. No wonders britain is so weak now.

  13. Jimmy Colby 8 Dec 2009, 8:48pm

    Boyfriend… or rent boy?

  14. theotherone 8 Dec 2009, 11:57pm

    Steve: you know the couple do you? No? Well shut up please.

    Jimmy: Fvck Off.

  15. @ steve (12): make that 11 out of 15 supporting the right for these two men to have sex with each other. What a curious comment you’ve posted. I’ve no idea what my granddads think – they’re both dead. Just out of interest, do your granddads approve of your sex life?

  16. He did break the law so he shouldn’t complain about being treated like a criminal. He is very lucky to have got away with it. Using the excuse that something is not against the law in another country is no excuse. I do think the law was wrong and I am glad it was changed, but disagreeing with a law is not a good enough reason to break it.

  17. Nice one. I suspect had the man been a Tory councillor, the usual suspects would not be leaping to his defence. Whether it was legal or not is not that important, but as David Burgess pointed out (and it IS our place to comment), Stephen Bayes is a dirty old f_cker, and should know better.

  18. Mihangel apYrs 9 Dec 2009, 11:36am

    Nice one RobN
    would yoiu refer to him as a “a dirty old f_cker” had he been a Tory councillor?

  19. Patrick James 9 Dec 2009, 2:34pm

    Hi

    I think AndySam has provided good information.

    I grew up in Northern Ireland. The decriminalisation of homosexual sex did not take place until 1983. As a side note the decriminalisation did not happen in Scotland until 1981. In Northern Ireland the age of consent for homosexual sex was set at 21 in 1983.

    This means that the first sex I was having in Northern Ireland was entirely illegal. This is true of many Northern Irish gay men of my age.

    At that time Northern Ireland did not have a separate legislature, so it was Westminster that maintained this inequality. In 1983 Westminster was forced to introduce an age of consent by the European Court of Human Rights.

    I haven’t lived in Northern Ireland during the period that a devolved administration has been established. I haven’t followed the process of “equalising” the age of consent but it appears that there was a period when it was 17 in Northern Ireland and 16 in the rest of the UK and it was during this period that the Labour councillor was caught out.

    One thing which does not surprise me at all is that the police in Northern Ireland have been spending time and energy on this fairly pointless prosecution.

    When I lived in Northern Ireland the “troubles” as we called them (paramilitary violence) were happening at a great pace, and yet the police in Northern Ireland would spend a great deal of their time attempting to catch gay men cruising. They used agent provocateurs and suchlike in areas where cruising was thought to be taking place. There were many prosecutions and I remember one priest or minister committed suicide as a result of a pending prosecution.

  20. Patrick James 9 Dec 2009, 2:54pm

    Tony writes:

    “He did break the law so he shouldn’t complain about being treated like a criminal. He is very lucky to have got away with it. Using the excuse that something is not against the law in another country is no excuse. I do think the law was wrong and I am glad it was changed, but disagreeing with a law is not a good enough reason to break it.”

    Northern Ireland is not another country.

    Remember that two people “broke the law”. The legislation criminalises both participants.

    I’m sure there is a question over the actual legality of the law which was in place at the time creating this inequality in the UK.

    Do not forget that the European Court of Human Rights obtained an age of consent in Scotland (1981) and Northern Ireland (1983) on the basis that there should not be different legislation on this matter in different parts of the UK.

  21. Patrick James 9 Dec 2009, 2:57pm

    RobN writes:

    “Nice one. I suspect had the man been a Tory councillor, the usual suspects would not be leaping to his defence. Whether it was legal or not is not that important, but as David Burgess pointed out (and it IS our place to comment), Stephen Bayes is a dirty old f_cker, and should know better.”

    I think RobN should resume taking his medication.

  22. BrazilBoysBlog 9 Dec 2009, 3:34pm

    Sorry ‘enraged father’, but I presume it’s only natural for parents to want to keep their children, as children, for life! Fortunately, (for those ‘children’) the law of the land kicks in to determine that they are then legally adults and can make their own choices. And it seems that this young man is perfectly happy with his choice… even to the point of being engaged. I wonder what HIS parents think about that? Who knows? But one thing is for sure.. It is not their decision to make.

  23. theotherone 9 Dec 2009, 8:11pm

    thank you for putting it so well brazilboysblog – it’s the Partner’s choice, not anyone else’s.

  24. the police like to think they’re god and tell people who they can love and who they can’t. it wasn’t rape, so what was the problem?

  25. Mihangel apYrs: “Would you refer to him as a “a dirty old f_cker” had he been a Tory councillor?”

    I most certainly would. If these people want to be referred as “The Right Honourable”, then they need to be just that, honourable and beyond reproach. I don’t give a damn what their politics are, but we as the people elected them. If they can’t be anything but squeaky clean, they shouldn’t stand for election.

    (And yes, I know he’s not an MP, just a local grunt, but nevertheless, the ethic still holds true for them as well.)

  26. Pumpkin Pie 10 Dec 2009, 4:46am

    If they can’t be anything but squeaky clean, they shouldn’t stand for election.

    Shouldn’t matter if they break an injust law. Do you think the same of people who had gay relationships while homosexuality was illegal?

  27. Jeff Dudgeon 10 Dec 2009, 6:56pm

    The age of consent since 1981 in Nortern Ireland has been none until 1982 then 21, 18, 17 and it has recently become 16.

    It would be interesting to know why the police arrested this couple in Belfast.

    I have a memory he had problems already in Hull.

  28. Pumpkin Pie: Oh right, so what your saying is we don’t actually need any laws or police, and we can just personally decide “This law is unjust, so it doesn’t apply.”

    Who the f_ck are you to say what is or isn’t unjust? How many times have you got a parking ticket when you only nipped into the newsagents etc? THE LAW IS THE LAW. You may not like that fact, but that’s the way it is, and often it was you who voted for the people or their successors that made that law. This man broke it. If you don’t like a statute, get your MP to raise a private members bill to quash it.

    You are a twat of the first order.

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