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Death confession 'got out of hand'

A BBC presenter accused of wasting police time over claims that he killed a former lover dying of Aids has admitted that his apparent confession "got out of hand".

Ray Gosling, 70, could be jailed for up to six months after prosecutors said they believe he lied during a documentary on death and dying.

The veteran broadcaster and gay rights campaigner recorded a programme in February in which he claimed to have smothered a friend as he lay dying in hospital.

Speaking after being summonsed by police in Nottingham, Gosling apologised but would not be drawn on whether he was telling the truth or not. He could now face the bizarre courtroom situation of defending his actions by insisting he did murder the man.

In separate comments, his solicitor, Digby Johnson, said Gosling was the "author of his own misfortune" and he was glad "nobody has been killed".

Gosling said: "I'm sorry if the police think they wasted their time. It was a small item on a regional TV programme Inside Out, in my country, the East Midlands, to my people, with whom I have had an intimate relationship. It got out of hand that winter evening."

He added: "I know what some people say, that I said what I did for publicity to promote a book I'm writing. That is absolutely not true, I haven't finished the book yet. Some people say I did it to revive a dying career. I didn't."

Gosling will appear before magistrates in Nottingham on September 14, accused of wasting police time. The decision follows a lengthy police inquiry during which he was interviewed several times on suspicion of murder.

Gosling apparently confessed during BBC East Midlands' Inside Out programme and during news interviews the next day. In the programme, Gosling said he smothered his partner because he was "in terrible, terrible pain".

His solicitor, Mr Johnson, said: "We are delighted that nobody has been killed, secondly that he has not been charged with murder and thirdly that the pressure of the uncertainty has come to an end. When all is said and done, when you watch him walk, he is not in the best of health and, however much he may be the author of his own misfortune, he certainly hasn't benefited from this."

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