Advanced Search

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

Ian Watkins pleads guilty to child sexual offences

26/11/2013

Catrin Evans, Head of Complex Casework Unit, Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said: "The three defendants in this case have admitted very serious sexual offences committed against extremely young children, demonstrating sexual exploitation at its worst.

"A number of the victims are too young to be able to understand what has happened to them, yet the defendants exploited them for their own gratification.

"The prosecution case is based on robust evidence uncovered by the investigation team and the South Wales Police High Tech Crime Unit. The CPS team worked closely with the police to build a strong case and this has been a major factor in today's guilty pleas.

"The CPS will not tolerate child abuse; tackling this unacceptable crime is a priority for all of us in the criminal justice system.

"We have recently issued new guidelines for prosecutors dealing with child abuse cases and are committed to supporting victims and bringing those who abuse and exploit children before the courts."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.