The Scottish “Obtaining sex by deception” case with Samantha Brooks that I reported on last year is back in the news again, as the defendant was in court on Friday. Although it’s been reported in the usual gay press, their reports are third-hand with the primary sources appearing to be The Daily Record and The Scotsman as their stories were published first and give more detail not mentioned by other outlets.
To summarise, there is no mention of any transgender angle to the case in the reporting and I’m sure given there appear to be at least two independent sources, one of them would have mentioned it had there been. That does not mean however it could not have worrying implications for trans people should Brooks be found guilty. The charge is still unclear, with mentions in articles of “obtaining sexual contact by fraud” but as before, a search of relevant case law and legislation turned up nothing.
There was discussion in 2006 about updating Scottish law to include a better definition of consent, which would have included an identity-related offence that would have excluded this sort of thing but this did not go through. If “consent” really is undefined in Scotland, it appears case law may be about to create something very unfortunate for many Trans people.
Friday’s hearing was just to ender a plea and there is another hearing on the 9th February, but it is not clear what that hearing is in relation to. I believe it may be possible to obtain a copy of publicly available court papers in such cases and time permitting I shall attempt this.