R v Tabassum [2000]

R v Tabassum [2000] 2 Cr App R 328, [2000] Crim LR 686 revolved around the vitiation of consent in cases involving assault when there was fraud regarding the nature or quality of the act.

The defendant, Tabassum, had falsely represented himself as medically qualified and engaged in a survey on breast cancer. On the basis of this false representation, women allowed Tabassum to examine their breasts. Tabassum was subsequently convicted of assault but appealed, asserting that the women had given their consent.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, affirming that the defence of consent did not apply in this situation. Rose LJ, delivering the judgment, pointed out that the women had consented to touching for medical purposes, believing Tabassum's false representation. However, the consent was not extended to indecent behaviour, emphasising the distinction between consent to the nature of the act and consent to its quality.

This case clarified that consent to an act could be vitiated if there was fraud regarding the nature or quality of that act, ensuring protection in situations where deception played a role in obtaining consent.
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