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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

Crimes involving young people

Young people as victims and witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support young victims and witnesses and treat them with dignity.

Find out more about how we support young victims and witnesses

Youth crime

The Crown Prosecution Service acts in partnership with other agencies such as the police, the youth justice board, children's services, courts and youth offending teams. Each area of the CPS has a youth justice specialist who oversees the prosecution of youth crime in their area.

Find out more about how we prosecute youth crime

Former football coach jailed for child sex offences


A former PE teacher and football coach has today (May 2) been sentenced to 24 years in prison for sexual offences against a young boy.

Michael Smee, 39, from Stevenage, was found guilty of sexually assaulting and raping a child under 13 years old, following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court. He pleaded guilty to four further counts of sexual activity with a child.

The court was told Smee met his victim through football coaching. The offences took place over a period of more than two years from January 2013 until April 2016.

Frances Bush from the CPS said: "Smee took advantage of a position of trust and his victim's love of sport to commit these terrible acts.

"It is thanks to the victim's bravery in coming forward and the hard work of specialist CPS prosecutors that he will be unable to continue his offending."


Notes to Editors

  1. Frances Bush is Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Thames and Chiltern
  2. At the time of the offences Smee was employed as a teacher at a school in Hertfordshire and also worked as a part-time football coach.
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