R v Grewal (Amanpreet Singh)
Court of Appeal
Citations:  EWCA Crim 2448.
The defendant and the complainant were both students. Both were very drunk when the defendant attempted to have sex with the complainant. The complainant testified that she was not consenting and made her objections known to the defendant, who ignored them.
The defendant countered that this was not true. He argued that either the complainant consented, or he reasonably believed she consented, up until a later point where the complainant asked him to stop and he did.
The defendant was convicted of sexual assault. He appealed his conviction on various grounds. One of the grounds was that the judge had misdirected the jury on the issue of how to assess the defendant’s belief in consent, given that he was drunk.
- Is the fact that the defendant is intoxicated relevant to sex offences?
The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction. The judge properly directed the jury that intoxication was not relevant to whether the defendant had a reasonable belief in consent.
This Case is Authority For…
While intoxication might explain why the defendant had an honest belief in consent, it is not relevant to whether that belief is reasonable. The reasonableness of his belief is assessed from the perspective of a reasonable sober person.
This indicates that the sexual offences are crimes of basic intent.