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However, Home Office guidance  is clear that there is no intention to prosecute teenagers under the age of 16 where both mutually agree and where they are of a similar age.It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 if the older person holds a position of trust (for example a teacher or social worker) as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust.These offences may not all apply in each different UK country.This offence was introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (in England and Wales), The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, and the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009.
In each UK country, a man would commit rape if he intentionally penetrates with his penis the vagina, mouth or anus of another person, male or female, without that person’s consent or if they are under 13, as young people aged 12 and under are not legally able to give consent to any sexual activity.
The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women, so that any sexual activity between an adult and someone under 16 is a criminal offence.
The age of consent is the same regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
There is no defence of mistaken belief about the age of the child, as there is in cases involving 13–15 year olds.
Article 79 of The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 amended “relevant offence” for section 5(1) of the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967 to exclude the duty to report information about the commission of an offence under Article 20.