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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

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

Internet predator who targeted young girls online jailed


A man from Harrow has been sentenced to 10 years in prison today (1 September) after using social media to target young girls and get them to engage in sexual activity online.

Derek Hutton used social media platform MovieStarPlanet, aimed at children aged eight to 15, to contact girls and engage in sexualised conversations with them before moving them to platforms with a video function.

Hutton then filmed himself and encouraged his victims to engage in sexual activity themselves or to send him pictures.

The social media platform continually alerted police to Hutton's conduct but he avoided detection using fake IP addresses. Hutton had created 407 usernames and approached 3,715 individual users over two years.

It is estimated that Hutton attempted to engage girls in sexual activity on the platform 500 times, doing so successfully on 250 occasions and inciting sexual activity by a child under 13 on 50 occasions.

Tom Guest, from the CPS, said: "Derek Hutton spent more than two years approaching hundreds of young children on the internet.

"Hutton went to great lengths to hide his identity and avoid being caught, using false IP addresses and routinely wiping his computer history so he could continue his offending.

"The CPS put a case before the court that reflected the scale of his offending, including evidence from social media platforms based abroad, resulting in Hutton's guilty plea."


Notes to Editors

  1. Tom Guest is a Specialist Prosecutor in the International Justice and Organised Crime Division.
  2. Derek Hutton appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court and pleaded guilty to:
    • causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity;
    • six counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child;
    • two counts of procuring the making of indecent photographs of a child;
    • four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;
    • attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
  3. Hutton received a 10 year prison sentence and will be on an extended licence period of five years. He will be on the Sex Offenders Register and subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.
  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