Documents to download

This Bill is a Private Members’ Bill introduced by Sir Paul Beresford. It has received Government support.

The Bill would amend section 5 of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 which created the new offence of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult. The Bill would extend this to cover situations where children or vulnerable adults had been seriously harmed.

The offence had been created following work by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Law Commission. Although both these organisations had recommended that the legislation cover situations where children were seriously harmed rather than killed, the Labour Government had decided to restrict the new offence to cases where a death had occurred. However, ministers at the time indicated that it might be appropriate to return to this issue at a later date.

This Bill was introduced into the Commons on 30 June 2010, and received its second reading without debate on 18 March 2011. The Government tabled a series of amendments for the Bill’s committee stage, which were welcomed by Sir Paul. These amendments were all added to the Bill without division. The main changes would replace the term “serious harm” with “serious physical harm” and would introduce a separate maximum penalty in cases where harm rather than death had been caused. The Bill is due to have its report stage on Friday 21 October 2011.

Documents to download

Related posts