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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

The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Christopher Killick convicted of historic sexual offences


Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said:

"The Crown Prosecution Service is determined to achieve justice for all.

"I would like to pay tribute to the victims and witness in this case for their patience and determination in giving evidence in this trial. Without them, Christopher Killick would never have faced the consequences of his actions. He subjected these men to appalling acts of sexual violence when he knew their disabilities meant they were unable to stop him. He is a very dangerous and manipulative man.

"During the trial we were faced with a unique and challenging set of circumstances but in bringing this case we have shown our belief that justice should be secured for every member of our society who needs it. I would encourage victims to come forward, whatever their circumstance in life, with confidence that we will do all we can to seek justice for them."

As the witnesses in this case were wheelchair-users and could not communicate without the use of voice machines or the help of intermediaries, the CPS asked them what additional support they may need. As a result the following actions were taken to ensure an effective trial:

  • A pre-trial hearing was held with the judge so that court arrangements, such as how frequently there would be breaks to prevent the experience becoming too tiring, could be decided in advance;
  • We arranged for extra BLISS symbols to be designed to enable the complainants to answer questions from prosecution and defence counsel in more detail;
  • We applied for a screen so that the complainants did not have to see the defendant when they gave evidence;
  • When transport systems were badly affected by snow we arranged overnight accommodation for the complainant who was giving evidence at the time, with adjoining accommodation for his carers.


Notes to Editors

  1. Christopher Killick was convicted today at the Central Criminal Court of buggery between 1990 and 1992 and of sexual assault in 2005
  2. Christopher Killick will be sentenced at the end of January at the Central Criminal Court
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  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