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Call to lower consent age to 13

Child protection charities have criticised a leading barrister who argued that the age of consent for sex should be lowered to 13 in a bid to end the "persecution of old men" in the wake of the Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall sex abuse scandals.

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Barrister calls for age of consent to be lowered to 13

The age of consent for sex should be lowered to 13-years-old in a bid to end the "persecution of old men" in the wake of the Savile sex abuse scandal, a leading barrister has argued.

In an article for online magazine Spiked, Barbara Hewson, who specialises in reproductive rights, criticises "the post-Savile witch-hunting of ageing celebs".

She also claimed that crimes committed by disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall were "low level misdemeanours".

Disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall has admitted assaulting 13 girls. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"Ordinarily, Hall's misdemeanours would not be prosecuted, and certainly not decades after the event.

Ms Hewson argues that "touching a 17-year-old's breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one's hand up a 16-year-old's skirt" are not comparable to cases such as the Ealing Vicarage rape or Fordingbridge gang rape and murders from 1986.

She also called for an end of anonymity for complainants.

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