Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Gosling spared jail on mercy death

Ray Gosling, 70, arrives at Nottingham Magistrates Court, where he admitted wasting police time
Ray Gosling, 70, arrives at Nottingham Magistrates Court, where he admitted wasting police time
BBC presenter Ray Gosling's solicitor Digby Johnson advised him to plead guilty to wasting police time

A BBC presenter has been spared jail after admitting he made up claims he killed a former lover who was dying of Aids.

Ray Gosling, 71, was given a 90-day suspended prison sentence at Nottingham Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to wasting police time.

The veteran broadcaster and gay rights campaigner claimed during a BBC East Midlands Inside Out programme aired in February that he smothered Tony Judson as he lay dying in hospital.

He repeated the claims in interviews after the programme was aired, but later finally admitted he made the story up. and wasn't even present when Mr Judson died.

His fabrication, dubbed a "tissue of lies" by prosecutor Simon Clements, wasted around 1,800 hours of police time, costing more than £45,000, the court heard.

It also emerged that BBC producers knew about Gosling's "confession" months before the programme was broadcast - after he first told them during a "boozy lunch" in October 2009.

The BBC has apologised to viewers for broadcasting the claim.

A spokesman said: "In light of the plea given in court today, we regret that we broadcast a claim by Ray Gosling which has effectively been withdrawn by him.

"We apologise to viewers and to those most closely involved for any distress this may have caused."

Gosling was dubbed a "fantasist" by Mr Clements, who told the court how in the programme on death and dying, aired on February 15, the broadcaster described smothering his lover.

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