Michael Souter worked for BBC Radio Norfolk from i 1980 until the 1990s (BBC)
Michael Souter worked for BBC Radio Norfolk from i 1980 until the 1990s (BBC)

A former BBC employee has appeared in court accused of sexual offences against children.

Michael Souter, 59, a former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter, is charged with 18 offences relating to boys, plus one against a man and one against a woman.

Souter, of Loddon, Norfolk, denies the charges relating to four boys under the age of 14 and two under the age of 16 and the other two charges relating to a male and female both over 16.

The alleged offences occurred between 1979 and 1999 and happened in Norfolk.

As part of his bail condition, the 59-year-old must not come into contact with any under-16s without an adult present and his is prohibited from contacting any of the witnesses.

His passport, which was surrendered under bail conditions, was given back to him. No restrictions were placed with regards to foreign travel.

Speaking outside 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 for their support."

Souter was granted conditional bail and ordered to appear before Norwich Crown Court on 14 December by District Judge Peter Veits.