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Former BBC presenter Michael Souter says photographing youngsters was not sexual, court hears

PUBLISHED: 13:33 02 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:47 02 October 2013

Mike Souter arrives at Norwich Crown Court on charges of child sex offences. Picture: Denise Bradley

Mike Souter arrives at Norwich Crown Court on charges of child sex offences. Picture: Denise Bradley

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Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Michael Souter denied his interest in photographing youngsters was sexual and alleged indecent images had only appeared on his computer after police started investigating his case.

Souter, 60, of Low Bungay Road, Loddon, is on trial after denying 19 counts of historic child sex abuse.

The charges relate to seven different boys aged between 11 and 16 and are said to have happened between 1979 and 1999. He also denies nine counts of making and possessing indecent images of children.

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Jurors heard that hundreds of pictures of boys in shorts and uniforms were found on Souter’s computer, although only a small number were indecent.

Cross examined by prosecutor Andrew Shaw, Souter claimed indecent images had only appeared on his computer after the investigation had been started by Norfolk police.

Souter said there was nothing on his computer in January 2010 at the start of the investigation and when asked if he was accusing Norfolk police of putting the images on his computer he said: “I’m accusing the police of a lot more than that.”

Asked why he had taken the pictures, Souter said he had an interest in shorts and uniforms which was a hobby similar to stamp collecting.

He said although he took young boys in different poses there was nothing sexual in it.

“They were asked to pose, but there was never any sexual interest whatsoever. The whole point of me taking pictures is for people to adopt poses that suit them. If there was any provocative pose it was not at my suggestion.”

Souter told the jury that he carried a camera with him everywhere he goes and would take pictures of everything from autumn leaves to street scenes, adding that pictures of boys represented only a small number in his collection.

Asked why he had shredding software on his computer which could be used to destroy files, he replied: “I think any sane person has shredding software on their computer.”

Souter has claimed that an unknown persons had been accessing his computer and there had been a campaign to “smear his character.”

He added: “Most people that know me well would say I’m a very decent guy.”

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