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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

Allan Richards found guilty of sexual abuse over 37 years


A former police officer and scout leader has been found guilty of 40 offences at Birmingham Crown Court relating to the sexual exploitation of 23 boys over a 37 year period.

Allan Richards, 54, from Kitts Green, joined West Midlands Police in 1980 and in 1982 he became a scout leader in Birmingham. Richards used both of these positions to identify his potential victims and also targeted vulnerable boys at a local park.

He continued his offending after leaving the police force in 2011.

His first attack took place in 1976 and his offending continued until 2013.

In 2014, one of boys he had abused contacted the police leading to  Richards' arrest and charge for multiple offences. Following two trials, Richards has been found guilty of:

  • 2 counts of Rape
  • 1 count of Buggery
  • 5 counts of  Misconduct in a Public Office
  • 3 counts of Gross Indecency with a Child
  • 7 counts of Sexual Activity with a Child
  • 1 count of Inciting Sexual Activity with a Child
  • 20 counts of Indecent Assault
  • 1 count of Voyeurism

He is due to be sentenced on 4 November 2016.

Neil Fielding, Specialist Prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Complex Casework Unit, said: "For more than three decades, Allan Richards preyed on vulnerable boys and teenagers for his own gratification; abusing his trusted positions as a police officer and a scout master to do so.

"Despite overwhelming evidence, some of it corroborated by his own diary entries and a list he kept of his victims' names; Richards continued to deny these matters showing no remorse and demonstrating a callous disregard for those he abused. Two separate juries plainly rejected his account and accepted those of his many victims.

"I would like to take the opportunity to thank the witnesses who supported the case and the whole prosecution team who worked diligently and professionally to bring Richards to justice."


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