Kidnapping is a common law offence comprising the taking or carrying away of one person by another, by force or fraud, without the consent of the person so taken or carried away and without lawful excuse.
The absence of the child’s consent will be material in any kidnapping case, whatever the child’s age. Younger children will not have the understanding or intelligence to give consent, so that the absence of consent will be a necessary inference from the child’s age. With older children, it must be a question of fact for the jury whether the child has sufficient understanding and intelligence to give consent.
The consent of the DPP is required to charge an offence under section 5 of the Child Abduction Act 1984 if it was committed against a child under 16 by a person connected with the child (within the meaning of section 1 of the Act)