A jail sentence of more than 20 years for a former BBC radio presenter who sexually abused boys he was looking after. 60-year-old Mike Souter from Loddon near Norwich used his celebrity status to groom youngsters.
The Judge at Norwich Crown Court told him it was the most appalling catalogue of abuse. Souter - who worked for Radio Norfolk and who was a Scout leader - insists he's innocent. Malcolm Robertson reports.
A former BBC presenter dubbed a "predatory paedophile" has been jailed for 22 years after being convicted of sexually abusing seven boys over two decades.
Ex-BBC Norfolk and former Radio Clyde broadcaster Michael Souter was found guilty of 26 offences including indecent assault, indecency with a child, serious sexual offences, and seven counts of possessing indecent images of children at a trial which finished earlier this month.
He was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court today.
Norfolk Police said the 60-year-old, of Low Bungay Road, Loddon, Norfolk, was responsible for "one of the worst cases of prolonged child abuse" officers had dealt with.
A former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter has been found guilty of abusing teenage boys over 2 decades..
It took a jury at Norwich Crown Court less than four hours to convict 60-year-old Michael Souter from Loddon near Norwich.
The Crown Prosecution Service said his celebrity status was a smokescreen for his evil deeds. The Judge has delayed sentencing but warned Souter he will go to prison for a long time.
The trial heard that witnesses had felt unable to come forward because of Souter's high standing in the community.
Souter told the trial that one witness, who claimed he was forced to ask the presenter to stop touching him, owed his later career to his influence and contacts.
Prosecutors also told the court that possible offences committed by Souter abroad, including in Spain where he has a home, had been reported but could not be tried in the UK.
Head of the Crown Prosecution Service's complex casework unit for the East of England Chris McCann said:
– Crown Prosecution Service
"Michael Souter is the classic example of the predatory paedophile who devoted most of his adult life to grooming and abusing young boys while maintaining a facade of the utmost respectability.
"Mr.Souter presented himself to people as a local celebrity from radio and television, happy to be involved in charity events, the Scout movement and as a youth mentor for Norfolk Social Services.
– Crown Prosecution Service
"All this was a smokescreen to hide his true intention: to become close to young boys so he could sexually abuse them, confident that his celebrity status would mean they would not be believed.
"This is the tactic of the classic predatory paedophile who hides behind a facade of respectability to carefully select and groom his victims then subject them to repeated sexual assaults over a period of time."
A former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter accused of 19 counts of historic child sex abuse has been found guilty by a jury at Norwich Crown Court.
Michael Souter, from Loddon, had denied the charges which related to boys aged between 11 and 16.
He had also denied eight counts of making and possessing indecent images. He was found guilty of six of those charges.
It took the jury less than four hours to return their verdicts
The jury in the case of a former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter accused of 19 counts of historic child sex abuse has retired to consider its verdict.
Michael Souter, from Loddon, denies the charges which relate to boys aged between 11 and 16.
He also denies nine counts of making and possessing indecent images.
The case is being heard at Norwich Crown Court.
A former BBC presenter accused of serial sexual abuse against children was described in court today as a dominant predator who lured boys into his world.
The claim was made against Mike Souter, who is on trial at Norwich Crown Court. The closing speeches took place today. Souter denies the charges.
A former BBC presenter was today described as a 'dominant predator trying to lure boys into his world'.
The claim was made at Norwich Crown Court by Andrew Shaw, the prosecuting barrister in the case of Mike Souter, who is accused of 19 offences against seven boys over a 20 year period.
In his closing speech, Mr Shaw said:
"He has spent six days in the witness box, rowing against the tide.
"He is a wolf in sheep's clothing" - and he likened him to characters in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
"He has all the allure of the toy maker but all the menace of the child catcher."
60-year-old Mike Souter has pleaded not guilty to the charges and also denies nine other offences of possessing indecent images.
Later on Mr Souter's barrister Andrew Hill spoke on his behalf. He said the prosecution counsel was a fantastic story teller but these allegations were fantasy.
Mr Souter, he said, had been attacked for his lifestyle and his taste but that doesn't mean he's a deviant. He might like dressing up in uniform but he doesn't have a penchant for little boys.
Mr Hill claimed the alleged victims had conspired against him.
The judge is expected to sum up in the case tomorrow.