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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.

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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

William Roache charged with five indecent assaults

06/06/2013

The Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised Lancashire Police to charge William Roache with five indecent assaults against four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16. Three of the offences allegedly took place in 1965 and two in 1968. He has been bailed to appear before Preston Magistrates' Court on 7 June 2013.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "We have carefully considered all the evidence gathered by Lancashire Police in relation to recent allegations from four complainants that William Roache indecently assaulted them in the 1960s. Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with five offences of indecent assault relating to four girls who were aged between 11 or 12 and 16 at the time that the alleged offences happened. We have been reviewing evidence and providing early investigative advice to Lancashire Police regarding these allegations, which were made to police after Mr Roache was charged with two offences of rape on 1 May 2013.

"This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on sexual offences. Mr Roache has a right to a fair trial and it is therefore very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

The charges are:

  • Two indecent assaults in relation to a 14-year-old girl in 1965
  • One indecent assault in relation to a 16-year-old girl in 1965
  • One indecent assault in relation to a girl aged 13 or 14 in 1968
  • One indecent assault in relation to a girl aged 11 or 12 in 1968

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 DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  5. 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.