Sexual activity in a public lavatory (Revised 2017)

Sexual Offences Act 2003, s.71
Effective from: 24 April 2017

Triable only summarily:
Maximum: Unlimited fine and/or 6 months
Offence range: Band A fine – High level community order

User guide for this offence


Step 1 – Determining the offence category

The Court should determine the offence category using the table below.

Category 1      Higher culpability and greater harm

Category 2      Higher culpability and lesser harm or lower culpability and greater harm

Category 3      Lower culpability and lesser harm

The court should determine the offender’s culpability and the harm caused with reference only to the factors below. Where an offence does not fall squarely into a category, individual factors may require a degree of weighting before making an overall assessment and determining the appropriate offence category.

CULPABILITY demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating higher culpability

  • Intimidating behaviour/threats of violence to member(s) of the public
  • Blatant behaviour

Factors indicating lower culpability

  • All other cases

 HARM demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating greater harm

  • Distress suffered by members of the public
  • Children or young persons present

Factors indicating lesser harm

  • All other cases