Court bans sex for man with low intelligence

Saturday, February 5, 2011

LONDON - A 41-year-old man with low intelligence has been banned from having sex by a British court.

Justice Mostyn of the Court of Protection, however, admitted that the case raised questions about “civil liberties and personal autonomy”, the Guardian reported.

The man, known as Alan, had been in a relationship with another man and told officials “it would make me feel happy” for it to continue.

But according to local council, the man’s “vigorous sex drive” was inappropriate.

The council said with a “moderate” learning disability, he did not understand what he was doing.

Justice Mostyn said the case was “legally, intellectually and morally” complex as sex is “one of the most basic human functions” and the court must “tread especially carefully” when the state tries to curtail it.

Alan should not be allowed to have sex with anyone on the grounds that he did not have the mental capacity to understand the health risks associated with his actions, the judge said.

Alan was described as “sociable” and “presented as an able man” but who was “seriously challenged in all aspects of his mental functionality”.

He lived in a home provided by the council, where he developed a sexual relationship with a man called Kieron.

A psychiatrist involved in the case even tried to prevent the man being given sex education, on the grounds that it would leave him “confused”.

The judge, however, said the court cannot prevent people from merely making “unwise” decisions, and that a simple test can be carried out to see if a person is capable of consenting to sex based on the act itself rather than the proposed partner.

Justice Mostyn said it requires an understanding and awareness of the “mechanics of the act”, “that there are health risks involved” and that sex between a man and a woman may lead to pregnancy.

The judge said that the psychiatrist thought Alan “believed that babies were delivered by a stork or found under a bush”, and that “sex could give you spots or measles”.

Filed under: Immigration, World

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