An indictment containing two sets of sexual offences, against two boys, ten years apart, fell within r.9 Indictment Rules 1971, however, unless the evidence of each set of offences was properly capable of supporting each other they should have been severed using the judge's discretion, in the present case failure to sever and failure to give adequate directions rendered the conviction unsafe.Appeal, with leave of the single judge, against conviction on 19 July 2002 at Winchester Crown Court before HH Judge Hooton for five counts of indecent assault on a male and two counts of committing gross indecency with a child. The defendant ('W') was sentenced to a total of two and a half years' imprisonment. Counts one to four on the indictment related to W's nephew ('B') and occurred between 1 January 1989 and 31 December 1990 when B was aged 10 years old. B gave evidence that there were two incidents. Firstly, when W took him to the pub and then back to his house where W undressed him, kissed him putting his tongue in his mouth, fondled him and made B put his hand on W's penis, which became aroused. W later drove him home and gave him money. The second incident occurred again at W's home where W undressed B and fondled him. He tried to make B kiss his penis, B became scared and refused, W drove him home and gave him money. Counts five to seven on the indictment related to W's step-son ('C') and occurred between 1 January 1998 and 30 June 2001 when C was aged between 11 and 13 years old. C's evidence in chief was by video interview where he stated that W had touched him on three separate occasions at his house whilst his mother was out. W used to "play fight" with him and touched his body both over and under his clothing and offered him money to touch his body. When cross examined he said that what occurred had possibly been an accident. W denied any acts of indecency and stated, in evidence, that B's motive could have been because he had refused to make a financial contribution towards his wedding. An application was made by W to sever the indictment. The judge refused and held that the offences were a "series of offences" within r.9 Indictment Rules 1971. He further refused to sever the indictment using his discretion as whilst it was possible the jury would use the evidence of one set of allegations to support the other he held there would be no unfairness if he gave a direction that the jury had to look at each set of allegations separately. W appealed conviction on the grounds that the indictment was improperly drawn and was therefore a nullity, alternatively, the judge should have severed the indictment using his discretion. The Crown contended the judge was right to refuse to sever the indictment as, relying on R v Christou (1996) 2 WLR 620, sex offences could be tried together even where they did not support each other by way of similar fact evidence. Alternatively, whilst there was no striking similarity between the offences the evidence was mutually supportable and was admissible under the principle in DPP v P (1991) 3 WLR 161.HELD: (1) Even though there had been a distance of time of nine or ten years between the last offence against B and the first offence against C, the judge was entitled to hold that the sets of allegations were a "series of offences of the same or similar character" within r.9 R v C (1993) Times, February 04, 1993 held that a distance in time of 11 years stretched the wording of r.9 to its limit and the distance of time in the present case was somewhat shorter. (2) Unless the evidence of each set of offences was properly capable of supporting each other they should have been severed. This was not a case like R v Christou (supra) which did not hold that absent legitimate possibility of mutual corroboration all offences could be tried together with a warning to the jury to consider the offences separately. The allegations in each set of offences had some support for each other but not enough for the joinder. The joinder must have had a devastating effect on the evidence of C that it could have been an accident. (3) Had the evidence of each set of offences been admissible under the principle in DPP v P (supra) the jury would at least have been given a full direction on the possibility of mutual corroboration. No direction was given to the jury on the evidence of C of possible accident and the possibility of mutual corroboration. Further, no direction was given on delay. As a result the conviction could not be regarded as safe and would be quashed.Appeal allowed and retrial refused.