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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

Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

Find out more about private prosecutions

Nine charged over naming of rape victim


Nine people have been charged after allegedly posting messages on Twitter or Facebook identifying the victim in the rape case which led to the conviction of footballer Chedwyn (Ched) Evans.

Jim Brisbane, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Cymru-Wales, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working alongside North Wales Police as they have investigated a number of alleged offences committed online in the aftermath of the Ched Evans rape trial earlier this year.

"We have completed reviews in relation to a number of the suspects under investigation and these have led us to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to charge nine people with the offence of publishing a matter likely to lead members of the public to identify the complainant in a rape case, contrary to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 1992.

"In order to prosecute this offence we require the consent of the Attorney General. We liaised with the Attorney General's Office and sent a submission to the Attorney General who granted consent to prosecution."

The nine individuals charged are:

  • Shaun Littler, 22, from Sheffield
  • Hollie Price, 25, from Prestatyn
  • Gemma Thomas, 18, from Rhyl
  • Paul Devine, 26, from Sheffield
  • Daniel Cardwell, 25, from Sheffield
  • Dominic Green, 23, from Rhyl
  • Alexandra Hewitt, 24, from Broughton
  • Benjamin Davies, 27, from Rhyl
  • Michael Ashton, 21, from Llanddulas

All nine have been charged by North Wales Police and bailed to appear before Prestatyn Magistrates' Court on the 5th November.

One further suspect has been issued with a final warning by North Wales Police.

Reviews in respect of further suspects under investigation by North Wales Police are continuing.



Details of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 1992 can be found at: