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October 17, 2013

Ex-BBC man described as ‘sexual deviant’ guilty of child sex offences

By Press Association

A former BBC presenter has been found guilty of a string of child sex offences spanning two decades, a court spokeswoman said.

Ex-BBC Norfolk and former Radio Clyde broadcaster Michael Souter has been convicted of a series of sexual offences against seven boys aged between 11 and 16 between 1979 and 1999.

The 60-year-old, of Loddon, Norfolk, has also been found guilty of further counts of making and possessing indecent images of children.

A Norwich Crown Court spokeswoman said that the former broadcaster has been found guilty of a total 26 charges.

Jurors have not reached a verdict on one count of indecent assault on a male and have also cleared him of one charge of possessing an indecent photograph of a child, she said.

Prosecutors described Souter, who was also involved in the Scouts and a social services youth mentoring scheme, as a "sexual deviant" who was obsessed with young boys in shorts and uniform.

Detectives are investigating further allegations of abuse against former BBC radio presenter Michael Souter after he was convicted of a string of child sex offences.

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Following his conviction, detectives announced they are investigating a string of further claims against the former presenter and believe more victims my still need to come forward. 

He was found guilty of abusing seven boys aged between 11 and 16 years between 1979 and 1999. 

 

Souter, who was involved in the Scouts and a social services youth mentoring scheme, was also convicted of seven counts of making and possessing indecent images of under-18s, a Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said.

Speaking after the jury at Norwich Crown Court found him guilty of a total of 26 charges, Norfolk Police confirmed a "live inquiry" was continuing into outstanding claims.

A total of 595 people have been identified as witnesses and it is understood a number of these have raised concerns about Souter's behaviour.

A spokeswoman urged anybody who may have been a victim to contact officers.

"Anyone who may be affected by anything raised during this trial can contact police," she added.

"Norfolk Constabulary is committed to working with partner agencies to prevent child sexual exploitation, support victims and bring offenders to justice."

Speaking after the case, one man who was employed by the BBC in the 1980s, said many people had long held suspicions about Souter.

"One of the first rules I was told when I started at the BBC was 'never be in a room alone with Mike Souter'," he added.

"It didn't come as any surprise to me when I heard he had been charged."

Another man, who was not involved in the trial, told police in 2002 he had been raped by Souter two years earlier when he was aged 17.

He claimed the presenter, a friend of his parents, had invited him to his house and got him drunk before attacking him in bed.

Detectives decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed but three days after the man's mother contacted officers, the family received a letter from Souter threatening legal action.

He wrote: "I have now heard from three separate sources that he is saying dreadful things about me in public, things that, if I didn't know and sympathise with (his) problems, would certainly lead to a writ being issued for defamation."

Souter went on to claim that the man was manufacturing the allegations because he owed him £150.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: "I met Mike through my parents and he was a kind of mentor, helping me set up my own business.

"I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread – his was a world I aspired to be part of.

"When he raped me I was left confused and assumed I was the only one.

"Now I know there is a larger picture and there is little doubt that there are others in my situation.

"Mike Souter is somebody who values his reputation and public image above all else.

"Now this has been dragged through the public eye, he won't be fooling anybody anymore."

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