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Ex-BBC man accused of child abuse over 20-year period

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Former BBC Radio employee Michael Souter has today (November 30) appeared in court accused of sexual offences against children over a 20-year period.

The 59-year-old from Loddon, Norfolk was arrested earlier in the month by Norfolk police and charged with 18 offences relating to six boys, including under-14s.

Former BBC presenter Michael Souter arrives at Norwich Magistrates' Court court where he is charged with 18 offences relating to male children, plus an offence against a man and one against a woman.

© PA Images / Ben Kendall/PA Wire

BBC logo at BBC Television Centre

© Rex Features



The crimes, alleged to have taken place between 1979 and 1999 in Norfolk, include indecent assault among other serious sexual offences. He has also been charged with with an offence against a man and a woman.

Souter, who formerly worked as a presenter for BBC Radio Norfolk, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court today and was granted conditional bail by magistrates.

He was ordered to appear before Norwich Crown Court on December 14.

Under the conditions of his bail, Souter must not have any contact with under-16s without an adult being present. He must also not contact any witnesses involved in his case and has to surrender his passport.

Speaking to BBC News outside the court, Souter said that it was doubtful his case would have received so much media attention if it weren't for the BBC connection.

> Lord Tony Hall appointed new BBC director general

"I am well aware this case is a stressful experience for almost everybody concerned, not just me," he said.

"Irrespective of innocence or guilt, people have judged me before one word has been given in evidence in a court of law.

"Many people wonder how much coverage would have been given, both in the UK and around the world, if the letters 'BBC' had not formed part of my CV.

"The support of my friends and family, during what has been an extremely difficult period, has been overwhelming and humbling and I cannot thank them enough for their support."

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