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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

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.

Find out more about private prosecutions

The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Former teacher and charity worker guilty of sex offences


A former teacher and charity worker has been found guilty of a string of sex offences spanning almost 30 years.

Colin Gregg, 75, was found guilty after trial of nine counts of indecent assault. The charges relate to offences against four separate victims, spanning around three decades from the 1960s through to the 1990s. Each of the complainants in the case was under 15 years of age at the time the offences took place.

John Dilworth of the CPS said:

"Throughout his life Colin Gregg has been considered to be a successful businessman, respected teacher and committed charity worker. As a result he won the gratitude of the community but, beneath his respectable veneer, Colin Gregg was sexually abusing young boys.

"Gregg exploited his position in society to abuse young boys, for his own sexual gratification. Working closely with investigating police we have been able to demonstrate a distinct pattern to Gregg's offending and a propensity on his part to commit such acts.

"I would like to praise the bravery of the victims in this case. It is thanks largely to their evidence that the jury has today found Colin Gregg guilty."



Notes to Editors

  1. John Dilworth is Acting Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North East
  2. Gregg is son of the founder of Greggs bakery
  3. Colin Gregg will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on March 30
  4. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  5. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233