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13 years for paedophile DJ Chris Denning, who 'offered victim to BBC presenter'

Published 07/10/2016

Chris Denning was one of the founding presenters on Radio 1
Chris Denning was one of the founding presenters on Radio 1

Disgraced former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning has been jailed for 13 years for child sex abuse and even "offered" one boy to another BBC presenter.

The prolific paedophile, 75, used his fame to groom and sexually assault dozens of young victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

He took some of the boys to London on several occasions and introduced them to other celebrities, including Gary Glitter.

Denning, one of Radio 1's founding presenters, was sentenced to a total of 13 years' imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court for abusing 11 boys, some as young as eight.

Judge Alistair McCreath said the effect on the victims, now grown men, has been "devastating".

He described the offences as "utterly depraved", and added: "It is not to be forgotten that all of this suffering was inflicted by you for nothing other than your own selfish pleasure."

Denning previously pleaded guilty to 21 sexual offences, including indecent assault and inciting boys to commit acts of gross indecency.

He is already serving a 13-year jail sentence for a catalogue of sexual assaults against 24 victims, including one allegedly at Jimmy Savile's house.

Judge McCreath ordered that the latest sentence will start from today.

He told the defendant: "You groomed all of these boys. They were for the most part in their early teens, although some were younger.

"You used your own fame, your acquaintance with others who were famous, your familiarity with the music industry ... to win their trust and misplaced admiration."

Denning lured boys into his house and plied them with records, alcohol and cigarettes. He showed them pornography before forcing them to perform sex acts on him and photographed them naked. He also took one of the victims to the Walton Hop Disco, which ran from 1958 until 2001.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said: "Denning would take one of his victims out for pizza. He also took him on holiday, on tours of radio stations and let him stay at his bungalow.

"On one of those occasions, in the bungalow, another well-known Radio 1 DJ was present and Denning offered the victim to him.

"The other DJ replied he didn't do that sort of thing."

He promised another boy that he "could use his connections to get him into the music industry" and convinced him to pose naked for a photo shoot, the prosecutor added.

He offered one of his victims a job at a disco and repeatedly had the boy sleep at his house afterwards, where he would abuse him.

Mr Polnay said: "Denning took him to London, where he introduced him as 'one of my friends' to Gary Glitter."

The defendant sat in the dock wearing a grey and orange tracksuit and showed no emotion as two of his victims, both now in their fifties, spoke of how the abuse continues to affect them.

David Burgess, defending, said Denning suffers from "various ailments" and may die before the end of his sentence.

He added: "His past has caught up with him, we are talking about events over 40 years ago.

"He is very sorry, he has expressed that before."

Denning did not react as the sentence was imposed.

Anne Longfield, Children's Commissioner for England, said: "Denning callously robbed children of their childhood after dazzling them with his celebrity connections and cynically manipulating them. It's right that he may spend the rest of his life behind bars for the damage he caused to his victims.

"Although his crimes were committed a long time ago some of the methods he used, such as plying children with alcohol or showing them pornography, are still used as part of the grooming process by offenders today."

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