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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

102-year-old sentenced for sex offences


A 102-year-old man has been sentenced for sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

Douglas Hammersley was given a two-year suspended sentence at Aylesbury Crown Court after pleading guilty to three counts of indecent assault.

He was formally sentenced today (11 September) after admitting the offences in July this year.

The incidents took place in the 1970s in the Buckinghamshire area when the victim was between five and eight years old.

Hammersley was interviewed at home under caution after the victim made allegations to Thames Valley Police in October 2015 that she had been abused by him. He was then summonsed to court and the charges were put before him.

He originally pleaded not guilty to the charges but then admitted the offences at a plea and trial preparation hearing in July this year.

Jennie Laskar-Hall, from the CPS, said: "We were able to prosecute Hammersley thanks to the victim coming forward, even though the offences were committed more than four decades ago.

"Hammersley was determined to put his victim through a trial by pleading not guilty. His defence team also claimed he was not fit to stand trial and provided two expert reports in support of this. We successfully challenged this evidence by providing our own expert report that he was fit for trial and the judge accepted our argument. Following the fitness to plead argument he admitted his guilt."


Notes to Editors

  1. Douglas Hammersley (dob 08/09/1915) admitted three counts of indecent assault on a girl aged 14 years or under contrary to Section 14(1) of the Schedule 2 Sexual offences Act 1956
  2. He was ordered to pay £25,000 compensation to the victim to be paid within 21 days, and £3,500 costs to the CPS to be paid within 21 days.
  3. Compensation was awarded in July as the victim was entitled to sue defendants for damages and in case the victim died before the sentencing remarks were made.
  4. Jennie Laskar-Hall is the Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern
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