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.
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:
"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."