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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

Former headteacher of Caldicott School convicted of child sexual abuse

17/12/2013

Former headteacher, Roland Peter Wright, has today been convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault involving 5 victims over a period of 11 years. This follows earlier convictions for fellow former teachers John Addrison, Edward Carson and Hugh Henry.

Ruth Bowskill, Temporary Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case marks the end of a series of prosecutions of four teaching staff involved in the serious sexual abuse of a number of children at Caldicott school in Buckinghamshire committed over a period of a decade. The position of trust held by these men, the young age of the victims and their vulnerability at the time of the abuse greatly increases the seriousness of these already grave offences.

"Roland Peter Wright was a particularly trusted member of staff at Caldicott school and became the head teacher. Not only did he breach the trust of the pupils at the school, their parents and the staff, Wright also abused his position of authority in order to gain access to his victims. It is only due to the great courage and persistence of the victims and those affected by the abuse that the despicable behaviour of these teachers at the school has been exposed.  Roland Peter Wright has never shown any contrition for his behaviour or apologised for his conduct; at all times he has sought to evade responsibility for what he did. I would like to pay tribute to the victims and witnesses in this case for their strength and tenacity in coming forward and giving evidence on matters which must have been extremely distressing still years after the events took place.

"Today's convictions serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these that they should come forward regardless of when the offence occurred because time is not a barrier to justice. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this investigation, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The emotional impact on Wright's victims and those of the other teachers is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions give some small comfort to the victims involved. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this 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.