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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

Operation Yewtree: Ex-DJ Chris Denning jailed


Ex-DJ Chris Denning was today [Tuesday, 16 December] jailed after previously pleading guilty to 40 sexual offences committed against young boys over a near 20-year period.

Southwark Crown Court heard that between 1967 and 1987, Denning abused 24 boys. His youngest victims could not remember how old they were when he abused them, but one said he had been between nine and eleven, while others were aged up to 16.

Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS in London, said: "Chris Denning used his DJ career and, later, his computer shop in Dorset to lure and prey on young boys. He used the computers and access to video games as a way of enticing young boys.

"He gave them free run of the shop and groomed his young victims with alcohol, cigarettes and money as well as encouraging them to look at pornography.

"The extent of Denning's child sexual abuse was truly appalling. The totality of his offending was significant and I hope that his jail sentence will be some small comfort to his many victims who were brave enough to come forward.

"This case demonstrates that where there is sufficient evidence we will continue to prosecute such cases with determination. I would like to thank the police and my team for their hard work in securing this conviction."


Notes to Editors

  1. Chris Denning pleaded guilty to 36 counts of Indecent Assault and four (4) counts of Indecency with a Child
  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
  5. 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.