Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998

False reporting of child abuse.

5

5. (1) A person who states to an appropriate person that—

( a) a child has been or is being assaulted, ill–treated, neglected or sexually abused, or

( b) a child’s health, development or welfare has been or is being avoidably impaired or neglected,

knowing that statement to be false shall be guilty of an offence.

F8 [ (1A) This section does not apply to the making of a statement that is a protected disclosure within the meaning of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. ]

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

( a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both,

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £15,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

(3) Notwithstanding section 10(4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851, summary proceedings for an offence under this Act may be instituted within 2 years from the date on which the offence was committed or, if later, 2 years from the date on which evidence that, in the opinion of the person by whom the proceedings are brought, is sufficient to justify the bringing of the proceedings comes to that person's knowledge.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) of this section, a certificate signed by or on behalf of the person bringing the proceedings as to the date on which the evidence referred to in that subsection relating to the offence concerned came to his or her knowledge shall be prima facie evidence thereof and in any legal proceedings a document purporting to be a certificate issued for the purpose of this subsection and to be so signed shall be deemed to be so signed and shall be admitted as evidence without proof of the signature of the person purporting to sign the certificate.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F8

Inserted (15.07.2014) by Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (14/2014), s. 24(1) and sch. 4 part 1 item 1, S.I. No. 327 of 2014.

Modifications (not altering text):

C2

Application of subs. (2)(a) affected (4.01.2011) by Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 6(2), (3), S.I. No. 662 of 2010. The Euro equivalent of £1,500 is €1,904.61.

Definitions.

3.— In this Part— ...

“class C fine” means a fine not exceeding €2,500;

...

Class C fines.

6.— ...

(2) Subject to subsection (3), where an enactment enacted during a period specified in column (2) of the Table opposite a particular reference number specified in column (1) of the Table provides that a person who commits an offence under the enactment shall be liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding an amount that falls within the range of amounts specified in column (3) of the Table opposite the same reference number, a person who commits that offence after the commencement date shall, upon summary conviction, not be liable to that fine, but shall instead be liable to a class C fine.

(3) Where an enactment enacted before the commencement date provides that a person who commits an offence under the enactment shall be liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding an amount that—

( a) was provided for by virtue of a subsequent enactment enacted during a period specified in column (2) of the Table opposite a particular reference number specified in column (1) of the Table, and

( b) falls within the range of amounts specified in column (3) of the Table opposite the same reference number,

a person who commits that offence after the commencement date shall, upon summary conviction, not be liable to that fine but shall instead be liable to a class C fine.

TABLE

Reference Number

(1)

Period

(2)

Range of amounts

(3)

1.

1 January 1997 to day immediately before commencement date

Not greater than €2,500 but greater than €1,000

...

...

...

...

Editorial Notes:

E7

False reporting of child abuse designated a serious offence (26.01.2011) by Communication (Retention of Data) Act 2011 (3/2011), s. 1 and sch. 1 item 5, commenced on enactment.

E8

In relation to subs. (2)(b), the Euro equivalent of £15,000 is €19,046.07.