Tuesday 16 January 2018

BBC presenter to stand trial on child sex abuse charges

Former BBC radio presenter Michael Souter arriving at Norwich Crown Court
Former BBC radio presenter Michael Souter arriving at Norwich Crown Court

A former BBC radio presenter is to stand trial accused of sex offences against children.

Michael Souter, 59, of Loddon, Norfolk, denies 18 sex offences against boys, as well as a charge each against a man and a woman. The allegations date to between 1979 and 1999.


He also denies eight counts of making indecent images of children.


Jurors at Norwich Crown Court have been told the trial will last six weeks and they are expected to be sworn in tomorrow morning.


Prosecutor Andrew Shaw is then expected to open the case.


Souter, who presented a number of shows for BBC Radio Norfolk from its launch in 1980 until the 1990s, issued a statement, saying: "I am pleading not guilty to all charges and will be mounting a vigorous defence.


"I have been advised by my legal team to make no further comment."


The charges include serious sexual offences and indecent assault, relating to six boys, including two under the age of 14, four under 16, and a male and a female, both over 16.


Souter, originally from Scotland, described himself on his website as a producer and presenter who had worked in both commercial and BBC radio since the mid-1970s.


It said he worked as a freelance broadcaster and had run a media relations consultancy since 1989.


His website contains a long list of clients he has worked with as a media consultant, including well-known tourism venues in Norfolk, restaurants, theatres and Norwich City Football Club.

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