BBC Producer Spared Jail After Being Caught with Child Sex Abuse Images

LONDON - JULY 22: The exterior of the BBC building is seen at their Shepherds Bush headquaters July 22, 2003 in London. The BBC is preparing to defend its correspondent Andrew Gilligan against attacks directed by Downing Street and to prove that it accurately reported the comments of Dr David …
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A retired BBC producer has been given a 20 month suspended sentence for possessing 832 indecent images of children.

Victor Melleney, 76, who when raided and arrested by the police in 2018 was found to be in possession of 832 child abuse images and illegal weapons, has been handed a lenient 22-month suspended sentence by Kingston Crown Court, receiving 20 months for the child sex abuse images and 2 months for owning three tasers and a CS gas spray.

The 22-month sentence was suspended because Judge Simon Bryan QC believed prison would be “particularly challenging” for Melleney due to his poor health, including a recent heart attack, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Bryan also said that a factor in the decision to suspend the sentence was because it would only have been a “relatively short custodial term”, the Daily Mail reports.

The retired BBC producer – who previously worked on top BBC shows such as investigative journalism series Panorama and political debating programme Question Time – was also placed on the sex offenders register for ten years. In response to Melleney claiming to have a “legal pornography addiction”, the court also required 40 days of rehabilitation.

The 30-year BBC veteran claimed that he had downloaded the child abuse images in error and was not aware of their existence. Yet in “damning evidence” pointing to the contrary, the court was told that 612 of the 832 child abuse images were on a hard drive in the dressing gown Melleney was wearing at the time of his arrest.

The prosecution at the trial also revealed that police had found the terms “11yo PTHC”, “PTHC” and “pre-teen” in the search history of Melleney’s devices. PTHC, an acronym for ‘pre-teen hardcore’, is a term widely used by paedophiles on the internet.

The jury only found Melleney guilty of one of the four counts he faced trial over, that being possessing indecent photographs of children. The jury decided that Melleney was not guilty of three other charges, including making indecent photographs of children, possessing an extreme pornographic image and possessing a prohibited image.

Before Melleney was sentenced, his defence lawyer, Kieran Vaughan QC highlighted the jury’s decision to only find his client guilty of the “less serious offence”, his poor medical health, and his 30 years working with an “unblemished record with the BBC” to push for a lesser sentence.

Melleney, who retired from the BBC in 1996/1997 would have worked for the BBC at the same time as notorious paedophile and necrophiliac Jimmy Savile. However, it is unclear whether they knew each other or had any interactions.

Jimmy Savile was one of the BBC’s prominent stars hosting BBC hit show Top of the Pops and children’s programme Jim’ll Fix It. The exact number of Savile’s victims, who were mainly children, is unknown, but it is believed to be in the “hundreds” – with his abuse spanning across six decades until his death in 2011.

Staff at the BBC were said to be aware of Savile’s behaviour, yet chose to turn a blind eye to the shocking abuse, and allegedly did not report it to senior management.

The BBC was embroiled in another paedophile related scandal this week when a man attempted to smash a statue created by Eric Gill — a paedophile who is accused of raping his daughter, sister and family dog — on the front of the BBC London Headquarters.

The statue called Prospero and Ariel depicted a male figure holding a naked boy’s arms with the child’s genitals on full display. When attempting to destroy the statue, the man chipped off bits of the statue with a hammer, including the child’s exposed genitals.

The man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage by the Metropolitan Police after he climbed down from the BBC building.

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