Lawyer criticised for 'She Was Gagging For It' blog

Mr Osbourne said a rape victim could not be too drunk to give consent. Credit:

A barrister who criticised new legal guidelines about rape in a blog titled 'She Was Gagging For It' has been condemned by campaigners who branded his views "alarming" and "deeply offensive".

David Osborne said men should walk free from rape trials if the victim says she was too drunk to give valid consent, and claimed "consent is consent".

Mr Osborne, who was called to the criminal Bar in 1974 and has fought cases in the Court of Appeal, said he found it "distasteful and unattractive" that a victim cannot give consent when "blind drunk".

Campaigners said his "deeply offensive" blog ignores current law around consent and plays up to old-fashioned stereotypes of rape victims.

The blog was posted in response to guidance issued to lawyers and police officers dealing with rape cases by Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, which spells out situations where possible victims might be unable to give consent to sex, including because of alcohol or drugs.

Director of Public Prosecutions,Alison Saunders,recently spoke about the issue of rape and consent. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Mr Osborne wrote: "I have always found it distasteful and unattractive the suggestion that as the victim was blind drunk she was therefore unable to give her consent to sex, or more to the point, she gave her consent which she would not have given had she been sober.

"In my book, consent is consent, blind drunk or otherwise, and regret after the event cannot make it rape."

Rape Crisis England and Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell said: "Through his unwillingness and inability to grasp the simple legal principle that consent must be freely and fully given by someone with the capacity to do so, he has merely illustrated the desperate ongoing need for measures to improve the criminal justice system for sexual violence survivors.

"On top of this, it is outrageous and depressing that someone practising law in the 21st century should be so unabashed about airing such baldly misogynistic and victim-blaming views."