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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

Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

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

Find out more about how we support young victims and witnesses

Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

Find out more about how we prosecute youth crime

Chris Langham convicted of making indecent images of children


People who claim they have images of child abuse on their computers for "research" could find themselves prosecuted, warned Kent CPS senior lawyer Ken Goss after Chris Langham was found guilty today of making indecent images of children.

Mr Goss said: "Chris Langham thought that he could possess, download and view indecent images of children because his defence was: "it was only for research". He was wrong.

"The material on his computer consisted of shocking images, or video clips, of children being sexually abused. Chris Langham actively searched for those images, those pictures do not pop up accidentally on your screen. You have to make that conscious effort to click on a button to download those images.

"Making or possessing indecent images involving children is a criminal offence. It leads to the continued abuse and exploitation of children in order to obtain the images for the entertainment of individuals such as Chris Langham.

"This prosecution serves as a warning to others who possess, view or download images of children thinking that they do nothing wrong or that they will never be caught. They have to bear in mind that the police could find them and that the Crown Prosecution Service will prosecute cases if the evidence is there."

The jury decided that Chris Langham was not guilty of indecent assault and buggery of a teenager. Mr Goss said: "We think we had compelling evidence to put before the jury. It heard all the details of the allegations before reaching its verdict.

" I carefully considered all the evidence passed from Kent Police and I was satisfied that there was enough evidence for a prosecution to be brought and that it was in the public interest to do so."

  1. Chris Langham was found not guilty at Maidstone Crown Court of indecent assault, contrary to section 14 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956, and of buggery.
  2. He was found guilty of 15 counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, contrary to section 1 (1) of the Protection of Children Act 1978.
  3. The trial started on 11 July 2007.
  4. For further details and local queries, call 01622 655314. For national queries, call 0207 796 8105.