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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

Five men and one woman charged with child sexual exploitation offences


The Crown Prosecution Service in Yorkshire and Humberside has authorised South Yorkshire Police (on 4 June 2013) to charge five men and one woman with offences relating to child sexual exploitation.

Helen Gaunt, Senior Crown Prosecutor from the CPS Complex Casework Unit, said: "I have authorised South Yorkshire Police to charge Lee Unwin, John McLachlan, Kareem Ahmed, Bashdar Hamadamin and a fifth man with various sexual offences. Lee Unwin will face one count of intentionally obtaining the sexual services of a child, John MacLachlan two counts. Kareen Ahmed will face one count of arranging or facilitating travel for the commission of a sexual offence, Bashdar Hamadamin will face one count of rape and a fifth man will face three counts of sexual assault.

"I have also authorised police to charge Amanda Spencer with 41 offences relating to the sexual exploitation of nine girls and young women aged between 12 and 20. The 41 offences date between 2006 and 2010 and include arranging or facilitating a child sexual offence, inciting or causing a child to become a prostitute, inciting or causing an adult to become a prostitute, and arranging or facilitating the prostitution of a child.

"These decisions were taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the CPS Interim Guidelines on Prosecuting Cases of Child Sexual Abuse. We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that these charges are in the public interest.

"All will appear before Sheffield Magistrates' Court on 18 June 2013.

"Lee Unwin, John McLachlan, Kareem Ahmed, Bashdar Hamdamin, a fifth man and Amanda Spencer have now been charged with criminal offences and have the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial."


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 DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS 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.