December 22 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A former BBC radio Norfolk presenter accused of serious sexual abuse against young boys spanning almost two decades said the allegations against him have been “devastating”, a court has heard.
Michael Souter, 60, of Low Bungay Road, Loddon, is on trial after denying 19 counts of historic sex abuse which relate to seven different boys aged between 11 and 16 and are said to have happened between 1979 and 1999.
The jury have also been told Souter also faces a further nine counts of making and possessing indecent images of young children after his computer was seized following his arrest. He denies all nine counts.
Yesterday, Andrew Hill, defending, said: “Mr Souter you face very serious charges before this court,” to which he replied “yes”.
Mr Hill asked his client if he committed these offences.
Mr Souter said: “No I have not”.
The defendant told the jury these allegations have had a “devastating” effect on him and that he is not working nor has he worked since he was arrested in 2011.
Earlier Souter was asked by Mr Hill about emails, with picture attachments, that appeared on his computer from various email addresses in the past few years.
He said: “I’ve been anxious for many years that my computer has been compromised and I’m in no doubt whatsoever that someone has been putting these images on my computer in an attempt to do me down.”
The court has heard that the defendant, who has hundreds of images on his computers, including boys in shorts and uniform, which he said depicts “daily life” from a places around the world as part of his travel writing.
Souter said if he was in the habit of storing “these sort of images” on his computer there would be hundreds in the same way as there are hundreds of images of shorts and uniforms.
He said: “These have appeared between 2010 and 2012 which is after the investigation started but before I was arrested.”
Souter said they have continued to appear on his computer in various places which is not in keeping with the way he would do so as he was a “meticulous person”.
He added: “If I was going to store things like that they would be kept together, not scattered the way they’ve been found which is why it’s peculiar.”
Souter said having been arrested in connection with serious offences he was “certainly not” going to download images that are further going compromise him.
Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, in cross examination, said Souter stands accused of a number of charges against a number of boys of different ages spanning almost two decades as well as additional offences relating to his computer.
Mr Shaw said: “You say you’re innocent if all 28 charges?”
Mr Souter replied: “Not only do I say it, I am.”
The trial continues.