Radio Bristol presenter Peter Rowell jailed for six years for sex attacks
FORMER ITV and BBC Radio Bristol presenter Peter Rowell has been jailed for six years after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting five girls aged under 16.
The 53-year-old of Amberly Way, Wickwar, used his position as a “minor celebrity” to attract the youngsters and groom them for abuse, Bristol Crown Court was told today.
He had previously pleaded guilty to a total of 12 indecent assaults on the girls, who were aged 13 to 15. He was also found with more than 400 indecent pictures of children being sexually abused on his home computer.
Judge David Ticehurst told Rowell he had used his position to enable him to sexual abuse his victims while working as a GWR radio presenter in the 1980s and early 1990s.
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The judge handed him a sexually offences prevention order to keep him away from young girls and he was told to register as a sex offender for life.
Speaking after sentencing Detective Inspector Jill Kells from South Gloucestershire CID said: "The sentence passed today is down the courage of the victims who have been willing to come forward and face the possibility of a trial.
"Their bravery led to the conviction of Peter Rowell, whose crimes clearly demonstrated predatory and grooming behaviour.
"I can only hope this case shows that [the police] treat all allegations of rape and sexual assault extremely seriously, regardless of whether these are historical or present day offences."
Rowell, a father-of-one, joined BBC Radio Bristol in 2010 after previously working for ITV West and radio station GWR.
He was reported missing at the end of March last year after failing to turn up for work, prompting a large-scale police search and appeal for information.
A day later, he was found in the Lake District and was said to have been depressed following the recent death of his father.
However, shortly afterwards it emerged that Rowell was the subject of a police investigation for alleged historical sex offences.