18 October 2013
Michael Souter ex BBC broadcaster convicted of 19 sexual assaults
Michael Souter, ex-BBC Radio Norfolk and Radio Clyde broadcaster, has been convicted of 19 sexual assaults on seven boys aged between 11 and 16. The assaults took place between 1979 and 1999. The jury at Norwich Crown Court also found Souter guilty of seven counts of making and possessing indecent images of under-18s.
The BBC have reported that the evidence against Souter was overwhelming with a total of 595 people identified as witnesses. Despite the vast evidence against Souter, he denied the allegations during the trial. Detectives have revealed they are still investigating further allegations and the Norfolk police have confirmed a “live inquiry” is continuing with regard to the outstanding allegations.
As with other celebrity defendants, the Court heard that Souter used his celebrity status to prey on vulnerable individuals. Chris McCann, head of the CPS, has commented that Souter “presented himself to people as a local celebrity from radio and television, happy to be involved in charity events”. Souter used his celebrity status to integrate himself into organisations or agencies which would allow him access to offend. The court heard the Souter volunteered as a mentor for Norfolk Social Services where he had contact vulnerable children. Souter was also a Venture Scout leader and adopted a child. Norfolk Social Services have said Souter underwent a robust assessment before he was allowed access to any children.
Souter is due to be sentenced on 31st October 2013 and has been warned by Judge Mark Lucraft that he faced “a long period of imprisonment”.
We hope the conviction goes some way in providing a sense of closure and justice to the victims. For many, the effects of sexual abuse can still be very real for decades after the assault and we understand how difficult it can be to speak out and relive the traumatic memories. In addition to the criminal matter victims are entitled to pursue civil claims in relation to the assaults and any subsequent psychological distress they have suffered as a result of the assault. This can assist victims to obtain any support of treatment required.
At Slater and Gordon we are experienced in dealing with cases of this kind and currently represent victims in relation to a number of high profile cases.
We are aware of the particular issues that arise in cases like this and understand the difficulties the victims face when speaking out. If you would like to speak to a member of our team please do not hesitate to call us on 020 7657 1658/1637. Please note that all discussions are strictly confidential.