R v Williams (Owen Richard) – Case Summary

R v Williams (Owen Richard)

Court of Appeal

Citations: [1923] 1 KB 340.


The defendant was the teenaged complainant’s singing teacher. He had sex with her, telling her that his actions were a method of remedying her breathing and improving her singing. The girl agreed, believing that she was being subject to a medical or surgical intervention. The defendant was convicted of rape. He appealed his conviction on the basis that he complainant consented.

  1. Did the complainant provide valid consent to sexual intercourse with the defendant?

The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction. The defendant had deceived the complainant as to the nature and quality of his actions by making her believe they were not sexual. She therefore did not provide valid consent: her consent was produced by fraud.

This Case is Authority For…

Consent to a sex act can be vitiated where the complainant is deceived as to the nature and quality of the defendant’s acts. This will be the case where the defendant convinces the complainant that what he is doing is not in fact sexual.