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Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Support for Victims and Witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but, with your help, we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support you and treat you with dignity.

The aim of witness care units is to provide a single point of contact for Victims and Witnesses, minimising the stress of attending court and keeping  victims and witnesses up to date with any news in a way that is convenient to them.

Witnesses are essential to successful prosecutions and we are committed to making the process as straightforward as we can.

Read the fact sheet about witness care units

Find out more about being a witness

Men convicted in shocking sex abuse case


Five men have been convicted of a string of sexual offences against young, vulnerable teenage girls and women in a case described as one of 'shocking and persistent abuse' by Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Samantha Shallow. Three other men were found guilty of related offences.

Ms Shallow, Crown Advocate in the East Midlands Complex Casework Unit said: "This is a shocking case of persistent targeting and sexual abuse of young, vulnerable girls and women over a sustained period by a group of criminals.

"Abid Mohammed Saddique and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat and their associates were sexual predators who have targeted the victims because of their age and vulnerability. The scale of their criminality against those they preyed upon is simply shocking.

"I would like to pay tribute to the courage of the victims in this case who have come forward to describe to the courts the sheer scale of offending involved. These victims ranged in age from 13 to 20 years old.

"I would urge any victims of sexual offences to come forward and talk to someone about what you have been through. We will support you in giving evidence, and what you say could help the authorities protect you and other people like you."

Thirteen men faced 69 charges relating to 26 victims in three trials, the first of which began in February this year at Nottingham Crown Court and lasted 11 weeks. Two further trials were held at Leicester Crown Court, one during May, June and July 2010, and the final one throughout October and November 2010.

As well as the five men who were involved in the sexual offences, one man was found guilty of breaching sex offender prevention orders and two others pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. Five other men were acquitted of all the charges against them.

Details of the case can now be made public after reporting restrictions were lifted at Leicester Crown Court.

Miss Shallow said authorities in Derby were first alerted to the groups criminal behaviour when one of the victims told someone at her school about being sexually abused. She said: "Investigations by Derbyshire Police revealed that this one incident was linked to a pattern of abuse with two ringleaders Saddique and Liaqat at the centre.

"Once the scale of the groups appalling behaviour was uncovered, the case was passed to the CPS East Midlands Complex Casework Unit. We worked closely with the police to advise on the operation and help build a case for prosecuting the offenders."

Lesley Renfrew, Head of the Unit, said 26 victims who were willing to relive their ordeal in the courts were identified as a result of the police investigation.

She said: "Sam, who is a rape specialist, and officers at Derbyshire Police, supported the victims throughout the prosecutions. We applied to the courts for special measures so that many of the victims could give their evidence from behind screens without being seen by the defendants.

"The verdicts in these trials have been the result of many months of hard, intensive work on the part of the CPS lawyer, caseworkers and counsel, the police, and Derbys public authorities. I would like to thank everyone for their contribution to bringing these offenders to justice."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. Guilty verdicts for all trials:
    • Abid Mohammed Saddique pleaded guilty to 1 x causing a person under the age of 18 to be involved in pornography; found guilty of: 4 x rape; 2 x false imprisonment; 2 x sexual activity with a child; 1 x causing a child to be involved in sexual activity; 2 x sexual assault; 1 x doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice; 1 x aiding and abetting rape.
    • Mohammed Romaan Liaqat pleaded guilty to 1 x causing a person under the age of 18 to be involved in pornography; found guilty of 1 x rape; 2 x sexual assault; 4 x sexual activity with a child; 1 x aiding and abetting rape; 1 x affray.
    • Akshay Kumar pleaded guilty to 1 x causing a person under the age of 18 to be involved in pornography.
    • Faisal Mehmood pleaded guilty to 1 x sexual activity with a child.
    • Mohammed Imran Rehman found guilty of 1 x rape.
    • Graham Blackham found guilty of 2 x breaching a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order
    • Naweed Liaqat and Farooq Ahmed each pleaded guilty to 1 x perverting the course of justice.
    • Ziafat Yasin pleaded guilty to 1 x being concerned with the supply of Class A drugs namely cocaine
  3. Acquittals for all trials:
    • Ruman Uddin 1 x rape
    • Ziafat Yasin  1 x rape; 1 x sexual activity with a child
    • Haidar Qayum Haidar 1 x sexual assault; 1 x rape; 1 x attempted rape
    • Hakeel Ahmed Chohan 1 x rape
    • Hassan Abdullah 3 x arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.
    • Abid Mohammed Saddique  6 x rape; 4 x false imprisonment; 5 x sexual assault. The jury were unable to reach a decision on a charge of rape and it was ordered to lie on file.
    • Mohammed Romaan Liaqat 3 x rape; 2 x false imprisonment; 1 x sexual assault
    • Akshay Kumar  2 x rape; 1 x sexual assault; 1 x aiding and abetting rape.
    • Mohammed Imran Rehman 1 x false imprisonment.
  4. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  5. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  6. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website
  7. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media