City Research Online

Sexual Assault R v Abdulahi

Wiener, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-0347-209X & Hargreaves, D. (2022). Sexual Assault R v Abdulahi (City Law School Research Paper 2022/12). London, UK: City Law School.


In the present case the appellant touched a nurse’s breast without her consent while undergoing a medical examination. The Court of Appeal had to consider whether this touching was inevitably sexual for the purposes of section 78(a) Sexual Offences Act 2003. Was the touching sexual because of its nature alone? It decided in the affirmative and has since been criticised for this decision. Critics point out that the Court of Appeal seemed to include context even as they purported not to. This commentary considers the wording of s. 78(a) and concludes that the Court of Appeal was right to include a degree of context in its assessment of what constitutes inevitably sexual touching for the purposes of s. 78(a). To do otherwise would render s.78(a) legally irrelevant which could not have been the draftsman’s intention.

Publication Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: © 2022. All rights reserved. A revised version of this paper has been published in the Criminal Law Review.
Publisher Keywords: sexual touching; Sexual Offences Act 2003; R v Abdulahi
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > CLS Working Paper Series
[thumbnail of CLS WP series CW1.pdf]
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