Ex-BBC presenter Michael Souter Sent to Prison for 26 Sexual Offences
Further Victims Expected to Come Forward to Claim Compensation
Michael Souter has been sentenced to 22 years for 26 sexual offences including indecent assault, indecency with a child, serious sexual assaults and 7 counts of possessing indecent images of minors following a five week trial at Norwich Crown Court.
Souter, a former BBC DJ and presenter working on BBC Radio Norfolk in the 1980s, also worked with youths as a Venture Scout leader. In addition, he was a social services mentor and had adopted a child.
The charges Souter faced came after a twenty year period in which it is believed he carried out 19 sexual assaults on boys aged between 11 and 16. However, there is speculation that there may be more victims who are yet to come forward and Norfolk Police have confirmed that their investigations are ongoing.
Souter used his celebrity status in the Norfolk area to prey on some of society’s most vulnerable male youths. Souter would take boys on trips to theme parks and football matches. Victims have told police that they felt unable to come forward due to Souter’s status within the community.
Although there was overwhelming evidence of sexual abuse, including hundreds of photos of boys in shorts found stored on his computer. Souter maintained his innocence and insisted that the charges were fabricated and that the victims, the prosecution and the Judge were all conspiring against him. The Judge branded his allegations as pathetic. The trial Judge said, “Souter had destroyed many of his victim’s childhoods and blighted their lives”.
Whilst some of the victims have expressed their relief at the length of sentence, others have said they would be happier with a shorter sentence if Souter simply admitted the truth and apologised to his victims. Souter’s failure to admit his fault is see as adding insult to his victims’ injury.
Souter was originally arrested in 1993 following allegations of abuse but police were unable to charge him due to lack of evidence.
Following the conclusion of the trial Detective Inspector Paul Brown of Norfolk Police stated:
“This case demonstrates the importance of victims coming forward, no matter how long ago their experiences happened”
This is a message which the Slee Blackwell abuse law team wholeheartedly endorse.