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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

Teenager sentenced for sexual assault of Ione Wells


A 17-year-old boy was sentenced today at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court to a 24 month detention and training order for the sexual assault of Ione Wells. He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault at the first hearing on 13th April 2015. The defendant followed Ione home in the early hours of 11th April and attacked her near to her home in the Primrose Hill area. He ran off when her screams alerted nearby neighbours but was arrested shortly after by police.

Gerallt Evans, CPS London Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "Today a 17-year-old male was sentenced to a 24 month detention and training order for the sexual assault of Ione Wells. A Victim Personal Statement was read to the court.

"Ione has shown real courage throughout this case - this was a terrifying attack which no one should have to experience. I want to let victims know that we will do all we can to support them through the prosecution process. This includes the use of special measures such as giving evidence behind a screen and by giving victims the opportunity to tell the court about the impact of the crime through the use of Victim Personal Statements."

More information about Special Measure and Victim Personal Statements can be found here:


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 three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area 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 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  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.