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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

Non-recent sexual offence charges against four former teachers at Sussex school


Jayne Cioffi, from the CPS, said: "On 12 July, four men, all former teachers at Christ's Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex, were informed that they have been charged with non-recent sexual offences.

"Having carefully considered the evidence in this case, we have concluded in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute each man for the individuals to be charged as follows:

"Gary Dobbie, 66, is charged with seven counts of indecent assault on a male, and one count of attempted indecent assault on a male and three counts of indecent assault on a female.

"James Husband, 67, is charged with five counts of indecent assault on a female and four of rape.

"Ajaz Karim, 62, is charged with nine counts of indecent assault on a female and one of attempted indecent assault on a female.

"Peter Webb, 74, is charged with six counts of indecent assault on a male.

"The charges relate to a total of 14 complainants.

"They will appear at Crawley Magistrates' Court on 9 August in relation to these charges.

"As the criminal proceedings against these individuals are now live, the Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that they have the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice ongoing proceedings."


Notes to Editors

  1. The alleged offences took place between 1980 and 1996
  2. Jayne Cioffi is a Senior Crown Prosecutor on the CPS South East Rape and Serious Sexual Offences team
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233