December 6 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Mike Souter led an extraordinary double life using his ‘celebrity’ to prey upon and abuse the young and vulnerable people he, as a scout leader and mentor with Norfolk County Council’s link-up scheme, had access to but was supposed to protect. Crime Correspondent PETER WALSH reports.
By day this ‘meticulous’ man, a self confessed “fuss pot”, was a seemingly well respected, go getter - a high flier in the local media world who had come to Norfolk from his native Scotland in 1980 to take up a post with the new Radio Norfolk outfit.
He said in court how he was to be the station’s “action man” or “Radio Norfolk’s John Noakes” but his public persona - that which he aired on his radio shows - hid a private alter ego which later became involved in online chat rooms.
It was in these chatrooms where, under the cover of anonymity provided by false names like Mike Smith and Gym Kit, his dark and disturbing obsession with boys, particularly those in shorts and uniforms, manifested itself.
All seven of Souter’s victims, who were aged between 11 and 16 at the time the offences were carried out, over some 20 years spanning 1979 to 1999, were people who had a right to be safe in Souter’s company.
After all this was a man who, coming from a naval background, was not only a seemingly well respected journalist and broadcaster, but was heavily involved in the scouting movement in Norfolk at the time and was even part of Norfolk County Council’s Link Up scheme where he acted as a male mentor and “father figure” to vulnerable young children.
The tragedy for those boys was that Souter was not the man they or their families thought he was. He used his position in the media, as a local celebrity, as a scout leader and as a mentor to select “pliable” young boys and feed his dark, deviant desires.
These boys, now adults, have had to relive the horrors they were subjected to some two decades ago in front of a packed courtroom which included their abuser.
That Souter has continued to protest his innocence, even to this day, has only acted to prolong their suffering with all of them either being accused of making up their stories or colluding together to ruin him.