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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

Barry Bennell


A CPS spokesperson said: "Today, 7 March, former professional football coach Barry Bennell, 63, was informed that he has been charged with eight counts of non-recent child sexual abuse, following an investigation by Cheshire Police.

"He will appear via video link at South Cheshire Magistrates' Court on Monday, 13 March in relation to these charges.

"The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Bennell are live and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice ongoing proceedings."


Barry Bennell has been charged with:

  • Five counts of buggery with a boy aged under 16
  • Two counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under 14
  • Indecent assault on a boy aged under 16

The charges relate to two victims.

The alleged offences took place between 1980 and 1987.

Previous charges

On 27 September 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence from Cheshire Police relating to allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse involving a former football coach, Barry Bennell.

Following a review of the evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, Mr Bennell was charged on 29 November with eight offences. He will next appear via video link at Chester Crown Court on 20 March.

He faces the following:

  • Three counts of indecent assault - boy under 13;
  • Three counts of indecent assault - boy under 16;
  • Attempted buggery - boy under 16;
  • Indecent Assault - boy under 16 (alternative count to attempted buggery).


Notes to Editors

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