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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

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

Michael D'Costa sentenced to a total of 16 years imprisonment for the sexual abuse of three young girls


Michael D'Costa was sentenced today at Isleworth Crown Court to a total of 16 years' imprisonment for a number of sexual offences against three young victims who were aged 10 to 14 years old at the time of the attacks. The offences, including five counts of raping a child under 13 years old, were committed between 2011 and 2014. D'Costa pleaded guilty to 25 sexual offences on 17th April 2015.

Chief Crown prosecutor for CPS London, Baljit Ubhey OBE, said: "Michael D'Costa is a dangerous sexual predator who groomed his victims with gifts and affection before subjecting them to repeated sexual abuse.

"He used intimidation and threats to control his victims and recorded the abuse in his diary and on a video camera.

"His documentation of these abhorrent crimes ultimately provided the prosecution team with overwhelming evidence against him, leaving him no choice but to plead guilty.

"I would like to thank the victims in this case for the strength they have showed through the prosecution process and I hope that the sentence passed today will provide them with some small comfort."


Victim A:
  • Two counts of Sexual Activity with a Child
  • One count of rape
Victim B:
  • Two counts of Causing or Inciting a Child under 13 to Engage in Sexual Activity
  • Three counts of Assault of a Child under 13 by Penetration
  • Two counts of Attempted Rape of a Child under 13
  • Five counts of Rape of a Child under 13
  • Two counts of Rape
  • Two counts of Sexual Activity with a Child
Victim C:
  • Four counts of Sexual Activity with a Child
  • Two counts of Rape


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 three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area 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 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  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.