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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

CPS statement on decision to charge Michael Robert Turner


Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions has reviewed a file of evidence in relation to allegations of sexual offences. This was a review of a decision previously made not to prosecute.

Ms Levitt said: "I have very carefully reviewed the evidence in this case and I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Michael Robert Turner with a number of sexual offences.

"I have authorised Greater Manchester Police to charge Mr Turner with nineteen offences, including rape of a child.

"Mr Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial. It is vital that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial.

"May I also remind everyone that all complainants of sexual offences have a right to life long anonymity, and any individual who publishes information which could lead to the identification of such a complainant, may be subject to prosecution.

"As proceedings are now active, it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this stage."