Historic Abuse Cases

Allegations of historic sexual abuse often come out of the blue leaving the accused and their families feeling shocked and devastated. You may not know what to do or where to turn, but Draycott Browne can help. We understand just how distressing accusations of this nature can be, as well as their long-term impact so it is essential that you seek advice from a trusted firm of solicitors.

We have the expertise and experience fundamental to effectively challenging the claims made against you, minimising the damage to your reputation and have a proven track record of successfully defending many cases of historic sexual abuse.

What does historic abuse mean?

Where an alleged sexual offence is said to have been committed prior to 1 May 2004, it falls into the category of historic abuse and is dealt with under the Sexual Offences Act 1956. There is no time limit on when sexual offences can be prosecuted in the UK and historic abuse is not treated any less seriously by the police or courts. Offences covered by this legislation include:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Offences against children

What are the penalties?

The guidelines on sentencing historic sex offences are that the offender is sentenced according to the law at the time the offence was committed, rather than the law at the time of the prosecution and trial.

Penalties for sex offences have generally become more stringent and severe over the past few decades, ultimately resulting in changes to the law, with the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 coming into force.

There is however still a very real risk that a custodial sentence will be implemented and that the perpetrator will be included on the Sex Offenders Register. The sentence passed will dependent on a number of factors including:

  • The nature of the allegations.
  • The period of time over which the offences were said to have occurred.
  • The age of the alleged victim(s).
  • The age of the defendant at the time of both the offence and the prosecution.
  • Whether the defendant is considered very ill or frail at the time of sentencing.
  • If the defendant was in a position of trust when the alleged offence was committed.
  • Any previous convictions.
  • The character of the defendant.
  • The defendant’s lifestyle since the alleged offence(s).
  • Level of impact on the victim(s).

How we can help

At Draycott Browne, our significant experience in this area means we are able to draw on key expertise, skills and technical knowledge to provide you with clear and coherent advice and use all resources available to us to build the best possible defence.

We are here to help and support you at all stages of the legal process including:

  • Police station support and representation.
  • Advising on your plea.
  • Submitting your bail application.
  • Preparing your case for trial.
  • Defending you in court.
  • Advising you on the appeals process.

Historic abuse is an extremely complicated area of law and our accomplished and experienced solicitors are well placed to act on your behalf, consider whether you are fit to plead and carefully pursue and review all the information available with the aim of protecting you from conviction.

We understand how serious and emotive allegations of this nature are and will treat you with understanding, empathy and respect throughout. We will represent your interests from the start providing you with a clear understanding of your situation, the implications and the defence strategy. We have a reputation for excellence and are here to support and guide you every step of the way.

24 Hour Availability

Arrests are rarely anticipated, which is why we are available around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days of the year, to assist you at the police station, whenever you need us.

Legal Aid

Legal fees can be an unexpected cost that you many struggle to afford. By applying for legal aid, you can relieve financial stress during your case, leaving you to focus on what matters. Our solicitors can advise you on your eligibility and will guide you through the process of applying for legal aid, giving you the best chance of a successful application.

Contact the experts today.

We work across Manchester and the wider northwest so if you are looking for quality legal representation, to help you through the difficult time ahead, contact our first-class solicitors today on 0161 228 2244 or complete our contact form.

Contact Us

Serious Crime Team