A High Court judge has upheld a Government challenge ruling any care worker arranging a sex worker for a person with mental health disabilities will be committing an offence.
On Friday Lord Burnett, Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Baker and Lady Justice King presented their decision to stop the procedure from going ahead.
Earlier this year Mr Justice Hayden considered the case of a 27-year-old man at a hearing in the Court of Protection.
Haydon stated if ‘practical arrangements’ were made for the man to visit a sex worker providing he had the mental capacity to consent to sex and decide to have intimate contact, but did not have the mental capacity to make the arrangements on his own accord the care workers would not be committing an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
But Haydon’s case was challenged by lawyers representing justice ministers leading to an appeal which concluded the legislation had been misinterpreted.
Burnett said: 'I would allow the appeal on the basis that the arrangements envisaged for securing the services of a sex worker would place the care workers concerned in peril of committing an offence contrary to section 39 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.'
He added: 'One of its purposes is to throw a general cloak of protection around a large number of vulnerable people in society with a view to reducing the risk of harm to them.
'To the extent that the provision discriminates against people in (the man's) position by comparison with others in the care of the state (or more broadly) it represents the considered view of Parliament striking balances in these difficult areas.'
Burnett’s case was agreed by King and Baker.
The 27-year-old man cannot be named in media reports of the case.
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