Child sexual offences lead former radio and TV presenter to six years’ sentence

Peter Rowell

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

Peter RowellFormer ITV and BBC Radio Bristol, Vile Peter Rowell has been jailed for six years after pleading guilty for indecently assaulting five teenage girls in the early 1990s.

During the hearing, Bristol Crown Court was told today that the 53-year-old Wickwar man, used to attract the young girls through his position as a “minor celebrity” and groom them for abuse.

Rowell has admitted making indecent pictures of kids and possessing over 400 of such images. He has also admitted six counts of making indecent photographs of children, ranging from levels one to four. And the level five is found to be the most serious.

Rowell found to be possessing 464 indecent images in January 2011. He was regarded as a well-known face in the West Country when he was arrested on April 1, 2011. The police was searching him after his being reported missing in March in a failure to present his regular afternoon show on BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset. That had prompted a large-scale police hunt and appeal for information against him. A day later, he was found in the Lake District and gave an explanation of his being depressed following the recent death of his father. However, just after a short span, Rowell had emerged as the subject of a police investigation for alleged historical sex offences.

Rowell has been issued with a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order that restricts his activity on release from prison and he will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Detective Inspector, Jill Kells from South Gloucestershire CID has spoken after the sentence that this effort has been made possible with the courage of the victims who have bravely come forward and face the possibility of a trial. It will hopefully help Mr. Rowell in realizing the seriousness of these offences and the impact it has upon the victims. This case is an example that how rape and sexual assault cases should be treated seriously regardless of their being historical or present day offences.

Judge, David Ticehurst has stated while sentencing Rowell that the effect on his actions upon victims was “considerable”. Mr. Rowell is also guilty of abusing his position of trust in the media.

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