23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 15:02

Ex-BBC presenter Peter Rowell jailed for abusing girls

Category: England

Published: 2nd Mar 2012 15:07:48

Former BBC and ITV presenter Peter Rowell has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing girls.

He admitted 12 charges of indecent assault on girls under the age of 16, six charges of making indecent images and one of possessing images.

Rowell, 53, had denied a charge of rape and the jury at Bristol Crown Court accepted an alternative charge of indecent assault.

He assaulted his five victims between 1989 and the early 1990s.

Rowell was also placed on the sex offenders register.

Sentencing him, Judge David Ticehurst said the effect on his victims had been "considerable".

"You had a position of trust in the media which you abused.

"You were prepared to use the world of showbusiness to attract young girls."

The broadcaster, from Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, sparked a nationwide search after failing to turn up for work in March 2011.

His car had been found in a supermarket car park at Yate.

The father of one was found "safe and well" the next day in Keswick, Cumbria, and was later arrested by police.

Before his disappearance, police had raided his home and seized his computer.

On that computer detectives found more than 400 indecent images of children.

Speaking outside court, Det Insp Jill Kells praised the five victims for being "really brave" and "very courageous" in coming forward to explain what happened to them.

She said police were alerted when the first woman came forward just over a year ago.

A second then made contact and following Rowell's arrest and charge, another three victims contacted detectives.

Det Insp Kells said a lot of the initial contact with the victims had been made through the studios of the then GWR station on Bristol's waterfront after the girls had shown interest in the radio station and in Rowell.

Mr Rowell abused his position of trust and respect and took advantage”

"Mr Rowell abused his position of trust and respect and took advantage," she said.

"Many of the offences took place at the radio station [GWR] and at a victim's home address... but none of them were committed at the BBC or ITV studios.

"He used very predatory and grooming behaviour to groom them and then offend against them.

"I hope this sentence allows the victims to get some sort of comfort and closure and allow them to move forward."

Sian Sullivan from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that despite the fact the offences took place some time ago, it would always prosecute if there was sufficient evidence and it was in the public interest.

"Peter Rowell used his fame to exploit innocent, starstruck young girls.

"Today shows this type of behaviour will not be tolerated by the justice system and offenders will be brought to justice, whoever they may be."

Rowell, originally from Sunderland, presented the afternoon show on BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset.

He was also a newsreader on ITV West for more than 10 years and worked as a DJ for commercial radio station GWR in the 1980s.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Ex-BBC presenter Peter Rowell jailed for abusing girls [Online] (Updated 2nd Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1415474/Ex-BBC-presenter-Peter-Rowell-jailed-for-abusing-girls [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Twaddell Avenue camp: Three in court over flag incident

    Three people have appeared in court charged in connection with an incident at a loyalist protest camp in north Belfast.
  • Pocket Printer secures Kickstarter cash

    An Israeli start-up plans to release a printer early next year that is small enough to fit inside its owner's pocket but works with any-sized paper.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Max Clifford jury gets majority direction

    Jurors in the indecent assault trial of publicist Max Clifford have been told they can return a majority verdict.
  • Football Association hit by drop in broadcast money

    The Football Association was hit by a £34m drop in broadcasting rights income last season compared with 2011-12.
  • NHS Central Eastern Commissioning Support Unit in CCG services talks

    A body supporting NHS groups in the eastern region has warned it could cease to operate in its "current form".