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Controversy ignites over court case that could ban husband from having sex with his wife of 20 years

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A British couple may soon have a judge deciding on the sexual relations in their 20-year marriage.

An unidentified British man may be banned from having sex with his wife because social services believe her declining mental health has now affected her ability to consent, Sky News reported.

(Image: public domain pictures)

The Court of Protection in London, which specializes in cases involving those who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, was asked to consider the case in an attempt to ensure the woman is not essentially raped due to her inability to consent to sex with her husband of 20 years.

According to Sky News:

The woman has learning difficulties, and social services bosses with responsibility for her care say there is evidence that her mental health has deteriorated to the point that she no longer has the ability to make decisions about whether she wants to have sex.


Judge Sir Anthony Hayden was asked by lawyers representing social services bosses to consider officially barring the husband who reportedly pledged at a preliminary hearing not to have sex with his wife. The couple was not identified in reports, nor were their ages or the wife’s mental condition revealed.

Before he makes a ruling in the case, Hayden reportedly wants to be presented with all of the evidence and arguments from the husband, social services and the lawyers representing the woman. He noted the difficulty of policing an order like the one the lawyers have suggested, while noting that the husband could be put in a position where he could face prison if he breached his pledge of the court’s order.

“I cannot think of any more obviously fundamental human right than the right of a man to have sex with his wife — and the right of the state to monitor that — I think he is entitled to have it properly argued,” Hayden said, according to Sky News.

“Despite the judge’s remarks, the ability for a man to have sex with his wife without her consent was explicitly banned in 1991 and is punished by the courts as any other rape,” Daily Mail noted.

Hayden was slammed by some on social media for his “terrifying” comments, as many weighed in on the controversial issue.

The debate raged on as some Twitter users attempted to provide context and an alternate commentary.

Frieda Powers


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