R v Olugboja [1982] QB 320, [1981] 3 W.L.R. 585

Key point

  • Submission (i.e. lack of physical resistance) to sexual intercourse does not equate consent

Facts

  • V’s friend was raped by D’s friend
  • D asked V to take off her trousers
  • D made no direct threat and V neither screamed nor struggled
  • The judge directed the jury to consider whether V had consented despite the lack of physical resistance
  • D was convicted for rape and appealed against the direction

Held (Court of Appeal)

  • Appeal dismissed – there was no consent to sexual intercourse

Dunn LJ

  • Loss of consent is not only limited to situations where there is force, fear or fraud
  • ‘every consent involves a submission, but it by no means follows that a mere submission involves consent’
  • In case where threats do not involve violence or the fear of it, the jury should concentrate on state of mind immediately before the act, having regard to all the circumstances, in particular the events leading up to the act and her reactions which show impact on her mind