‘Grooming’ law will put carers at risk
The Government1s Sexual Offences Bill, which comes into force later his year, will make it harder for care workers to defend themselves against false accusations of sexual abuse and harassment by misguided children, claims a leading lawyer in the field. Stuart Sutton, who heads the Unit for the Defence of the Falsely Accused at Manchester law firm Rowe Cohen, believes that while the Bill is well intentioned in its aim to protect children, it has gone too far. Mr Sutton said he believes the Bill is full of anomalies and will increase the threat of innocent people being sent to prison, rather than reducing crime as the Government had intended. He said care workers were particularly at risk because of the introduction of a new offence in the Bill, that of “grooming a child”. “It stands to reason that care workers will be in the firing line of accusations because of their regular contact with children,” Mr Sutton said.