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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

London teacher jailed for sex with teenage boy


A teacher has today (6 October) been sentenced to 16 months in prison for abusing her position of trust at an east London school after having sex with a 15-year-old boy.

 Alice McBrearty, 23, was jailed at Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty earlier this year at Thames Magistrates' Court.

The offences took place between February and May this year after McBrearty contacted the boy on social media and groomed him by buying him gifts.

She began by taking him to parks and out for meals before the sexual activity began at her home.

On one occasion she drove him to a hotel and told him to wait outside while she booked a room. When this was done she messaged him and told him which room to meet her in.

The boy's father reported his concerns to the police after he became suspicious and obtained his son's phone records.

Zarah Dickinson from CPS London said:

"Alice McBrearty conducted a sexual relationship for months with a boy despite knowing he was underage and she was committing a serious crime.

"She groomed him on social media and bought him gifts before having sex with him in her home, at a hotel and in her car.

"We would like to thank the victim for coming forward and for supporting this prosecution during what has been a difficult time for him and his family."


Notes to Editors

  1. Alice McBrearty, of Wanstead Park, was born on 08/04/1994
  2. Zarah Dickinson is a Crown Advocate for CPS London North
  3. McBrearty admitted seven counts of an adult abusing a position of trust covering the period from 11 February 2017 to 5 May 2017.
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