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Due to the intense media coverage of high-profile historic sex offence cases in recent years, there has been a significant increase in investigations and prosecutions into such crimes. This is due to “the Savile effect”, which relates to the rise in the number of historic sex offence crimes recorded by police in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. In situations like this, where the public interest and media attention is strong, it is especially important for criminal defence lawyers to take a robust approach when presenting the defendant’s version of events and to ensure their rights are protected.

Historic sexual offences legal advice - Seek representation at the earliest stage possible

Historic sexual offence cases are treated very seriously by the police and courts. They are inevitably complex, due to the sensitive nature of the acts complained of and because often a considerable amount of time has passed since they occurred.  

If you are under suspicion for a historic sexual crime, it is important that you seek expert legal advice and representation from the earliest stage possible. It is much easier to secure a successful outcome when you have the right support at the initial stages of any investigation, rather than much later in the process or on appeal.

Stuart Sutton at Sutton Defence is a specialist sexual offence defence lawyer with over three decades of experience representing clients accused of sexual crimes. Stuart knows how stressful and upsetting these cases can be and understands what it takes to provide a robust defence to such accusations. If you have been questioned about a historic sex offence, contact Stuart today for immediate, expert advice.

What is a historic sexual offence?

Historic sexual offences are any sexual crimes, such as rape, sexual assault or child sex abuse, that took place before 1 May 2004. The law that was in force at the time the acts complained of are said to have taken place will be applied, and this can mean referring to legislation from as far back as 1957. In contrast, all current sexual offences are dealt with under the current law, set out in the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

How are historic sexual offences investigated?

Allegations of historic sexual offences are treated seriously by the investigation authorities, regardless of the amount of time that has passed from when the alleged incident(s) took place to the matter being reported. No time limit applies to the reporting of sexual offences. However, where a considerable amount of time has passed and we believe this means it is no longer possible for you to have a fair trial, we are likely to make an application to the court for the case to be dropped.

When a historical sex offence accusation is made, the police and prosecution service will aim to look for evidence to corroborate the complainant’s account. This might involve searching through files from schools and local authorities to find relevant information. They will also contact and speak with potential witnesses and find out if there are any other possible victims.

If you are under investigation, your home could be searched and you will be asked to attend the police station for an interview. You are entitled to have a solicitor present with you when being questioned by the police, and it is essential that you do to ensure you are made fully aware of your rights.

What are the penalties for a conviction of historic sexual abuse?

The penalty will depend on when the crime was committed and its nature. In many cases, long-term prison sentences are given. Those convicted of historic sexual abuse will be sentenced according to the maximum sentence prescribed by the law in force at the time the crime was committed. If the maximum sentence at the time of the offence has since been reduced, the lower sentence will apply. Judges can take into account current sentencing guidelines when deciding the most appropriate penalty but are not permitted to go above the maximum sentence available at the time of the crime. Offenders are also likely to be included in the sex offenders register.

Why do I need a historic sexual offence defence solicitor?

A lawyer with expertise in defending historic sexual crimes will have the in-depth knowledge of the law that applies and an extensive understanding of the approach used by the investigating and prosecuting authorities in these cases. These bodies are often under pressure to secure convictions and so it is essential that your lawyer aggressively defends your corner.

Stuart Sutton is well-versed in defending clients against historic sex crime allegations. Stuart does everything necessary to secure the best possible outcome for his clients, including identifying inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, finding evidence, such as work emails or attendance sheets, that casts doubt on the complainant’s version of events, and presenting strong evidence to support the client’s good character.

Contact Stuart Sutton, Expert Historic Sexual Offence Lawyer London and Manchester, UK

If you are accused of a historic sexual offence, you are likely to feel stressed, upset and worried about your future and your reputation. Such allegations can have a huge impact on the lives of those accused and so it is essential you get high-quality legal advice and representation. Stuart Sutton has an outstanding reputation in securing not guilty outcomes for clients involved in a wide range of sexual offence cases. He will use his extensive knowledge and skills to create a watertight defence strategy and minimise any impact such allegations have on your life. For immediate, expert legal advice, contact Stuart Sutton today on 07798 753 720.

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Why Choose Sutton Defence Lawyers?

  • Specialists in Criminal Defence Law
  • Outstanding record in successfully defending clients charged with Sexual Offences
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Secured not guilty verdicts in over 90% of cases
  • Robust defence preparation, attention to detail and professional representation