UK & World News
Ex-BBC Radio Presenter Denies Sex Offences
A former BBC presenter has "strenuously denied" sexual offences against children, claiming that his links to the corporation attracted undue attention.
Michael Souter, 59, of Loddon, Norfolk, has been charged with 18 offences relating to boys, one offence against a man and one against a woman.
The charges relate to six different boys and two adults and include serious sexual offences and indecent assault which allegedly took place in Norfolk between 1979 and 1999.
The earlier charges overlap with Souter's career at the BBC in the 1980s, during which he helped launch Radio Norfolk including a stint presenting the breakfast show.
Speaking after his first appearance at Norwich Magistrates' Court, Souter said: "I am well aware this case is a stressful experience for almost everybody concerned, not just me.
"Irrespective of innocence or guilt, people have judged me before one word has been given in evidence in a court of law.
"Many people wonder how much coverage would have been given both in the UK and around the world if the letters 'BBC' had not formed part of my CV.
"The support of my friends and family, during what has been an extremely difficult period, has been overwhelming and humbling and I cannot thank them enough.
"I look forward to being able to prove my innocence and put this awful episode behind me."
Souter did not enter a plea during the 10-minute hearing.
District Judge Peter Veits ordered that Souter appear at Norwich Crown Court on December 14.