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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

Ex BBC DJ Michael Souter convicted of 19 sexual offences against children

17/10/2013

Former BBC Radio Norfolk Presenter Michael Souter has today (Thursday 17 October) been convicted of 19 sexual offences, including indecent assault, buggery and possession of indecent images of children.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court heard that the offences related to seven victims aged between 11 and 16 at the time of the offending, who were abused over a period of 20 years from 1979 onwards.

Head of the CPS Complex Casework Unit for the East of England Chris McCann said: "Michael Souter is the classic example of the predatory paedophile who devoted most of his adult life to grooming and abusing young boys while maintaining a facade of the utmost respectability.

"Mr.Souter presented himself to people as a local celebrity from radio and television, happy to be involved in charity events, the Scout movement and as a youth mentor for Norfolk Social Services.

"All this was a smokescreen to hide his true intention: to become close to young boys so he could sexually abuse them, confident that his celebrity status would mean they would not be believed.

"This is the tactic of the classic predatory paedophile who hides behind a facade of respectability to carefully select and groom his victims then subject them to repeated sexual assaults over a period of time."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. 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.