Regina vs. Jason Lawrance
On Wednesday the 22nd July 2020, the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) formally quashed two convictions for rape that had been recorded against Mr. Lawrance at Nottingham Crown Court on the 31st July 2019.
The case concerned a novel and fundamentally important issue regarding the possibility that a lie might negate ostensible consent within a sexual relationship.
Mr. Lawrance and the Complainant in this case contacted each other via a dating website. They met and had sexual intercourse on two occasions. It was the prosecution case that the Complainant had only consented to intercourse because Mr. Lawrance had lied to her about his fertility. He had assured her, according to the prosecution, that he had undergone a vasectomy.
At Mr. Lawrance’s trial, the Jury concluded that the Complainant’s decision to consent to intercourse had been negated by Mr. Lawrance’s deception and they returned verdicts of guilty.
Managing Director, Shaun Draycott*, was instructed by Mr. Lawrance to appeal against the convictions. Leave was granted and the case heard by the full Court (including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett) on the 30th April 2020. Lengthy submissions were made to the Court on Mr. Lawrance’s behalf by David Emanuel QC (www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk), by way of a development of lengthy and detailed arguments that had been presented in writing in advance of the hearing.
In conclusion, the Court concluded that Mr. Lawrance’s lie about his fertility “was not capable in law of negating consent”.
This was an important ruling which will offer on-going assistance and clarification to those handling similar cases in the future.
*Shaun Draycott is the Managing Director of Draycott Browne Ltd. He is a solicitor and a Higher Court Advocate. He is exclusively involved in the provision of advice and assistance to those accused of, charged with or convicted of criminal offences. All of his work is privately funded. He specialises in the preparation and presentation of applications in the Court of Appeal and to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.