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outraging public decency


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It is an offence at common law to outrage public decency. The act must be done in a place where at least two members of the public might see it. Where the act is plainly indecent and likely to disgust and annoy, the jury are entitled to infer such disgust and annoyance without evidence that anyone was disgusted or annoyed. It may be committed in a number of ways, e.g. by engaging in or simulating a sexual act, displaying earrings made of human foetuses, or publishing outrageously indecent material. It is a matter for the jury as members of the public to decide whether the conduct is outrageously indecent and disgusts and annoys them. By s 320 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the offence is triable either way. The maximum penalty on conviction on indictment is imprisonment and/or a fine at large. On summary conviction, the maximum is six months or a fine not exceeding level 5, or both. See also conspiracy.

Subjects: Law.


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