December 11 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The jury in the trial of a man accused of a series of sexual offences against children spanning some 20 years are set to reture to consider its verdict later today.
Michael Souter, 60, of Low Bungay Road, Loddon has denied 19 counts of historic child sex abuse relating to seven different boys aged between 11 and 16, which are said to have happened between 1979 and 1999.
He also denies nine counts of making and possessing indecent images of children.
Summing up yesterday, Judge Mark Lucraft, told the jury they must “decide this case only on the evidence that has been presented before you - there will be no more”.
Judge Lucraft said the jury must not speculate about what evidence “there might have been”.
He said the burden of proof was on those who bring this case, not those who fight it.
Judge Lucraft said: “In this case the prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty. The defendant does not have to prove his innocence”.
He added: “If after considering all the evidence you’re sure that the defendant is guilty you must return a verdict of guilty if you’re not sure your verdict must be not guilty.”
The jury, which is to be sent out later today after the conclusion of Judge Lucraft’s summing up, were told to consider each individual count separately.
In his summing up Judge Lucraft reminded the jury of the facts of the case as well as the closing arguments made by the prosecution and defence.
On Monday, Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, said Souter was a “child sex abuser of the most serious kind” and described him as a “wolf in sheep’s cliothing”, likening him to characters in the film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.
He said: “He had all the allure of a Toymaker and all the menace of a Child Catcher.”
Andrew Hill, defending, urged the jury not to simply “write off this defendant” and said there was some collusion between some of the alleged victims while their delay in coming forward was “significant”. He added that some of the allegations were “complete rubbish”.
The trial continues.