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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 businessman from Bradford, Philip Longbottom, given a life sentence for non-recent sexual abuse


Philip Longbottom has today been sentenced to life with a minimum term of seven years, at Bradford Crown Court, after pleading guilty to 43 charges against 12 victims, involving child sex abuse, rape, buggery and the rape and sexual assault of a 19 year old man.

A respected member of the local community and a wealthy businessman, Philip Longbottom was a scout and sea cadet leader and helped at the church CB radio club. He systematically abused young boys for over three decades.

Adrienne Gower, Head of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "Longbottom was a wealthy businessman and apparent pillar of the local community. Using his wealth and status, he befriended and then systematically abused young boys for over 30 years, in what amounted to a campaign of rape against multiple victims.

"He groomed his victims by showering them with lavish gifts, money, foreign holidays and camping trips. He plied them with drugs and alcohol; assaulted and raped them,  abusing their trust in him in the most obscene manner. He has damaged very many lives in over three decades of offending. I hope the life sentence handed down today is of some comfort to his many victims."


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