§ Mr. Gerald Howarth
To ask the Solicitor-General what guidance is issued to the Crown Prosecution Service regarding the prosecution of those involved in illegal sexual acts performed on under-age children. 
§ The Solicitor-General
As with any alleged offence, Crown Prosecutors review each case in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. They apply both the evidential and public interest tests set out in the Code.532W
If there is a realistic prospect of conviction for a sexual offence, relevant considerations as to whether a prosecution is in the public interest include the age of the defendant, the age difference between the parties, whether there was a breach of trust and whether the child willingly entered into the relationship.
It would be rare that a sexual offence against a child by an adult would not be prosecuted on public interest grounds. In respect of unlawful sexual intercourse, the public interest requires a prosecution where the child victim is under 13 years of age unless exceptional circumstances exist.