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Married BBC radio DJs are jailed for luring boys into sex games in woods

By Matthew Cooper

Two former BBC radio presenters have been jailed for five years for indecently assaulting a string of underage boys and outraging public decency by having sex in woodland.

Husband-and-wife Tony and Julie Wadsworth were found guilty by majority verdicts of encouraging six boys, including a teenager looking for a golf ball, to take part in sexual activity in Warwickshire between 1992 and 1996.

Sentencing Mrs Wadsworth (60) and her 69-year-old husband at Warwick Crown Court, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said the "grave" offences had caused emotional damage to all the victims.

Mrs Wadsworth was convicted by majority 10-2 verdicts of nine indecent assaults and five counts of outraging decency after a three-week trial.

Her husband, who acted as a "lookout" during sexual activity involving his wife and all the youngsters, was found guilty of the same charges, also by majority verdicts.

Passing sentence on the pair, Judge Lockhart said Mrs Wadsworth had "groomed" the victims - including a boy aged as young as 11 - while her spouse was equally culpable for the offences.

The judge told the former BBC WM and BBC Radio Leicester presenters: "You are a married couple and you were married across part of the period of this indictment.

"You were plainly very sexually active with one another. I find that you as a couple decided to move outside your marriage to gain more excitement.

"You Julie Wadsworth loved the attention and that young boys were attracted to you. You Tony Wadsworth did all you could to encourage her and facilitate the events that the jury have heard about."

The judge said it would have been "staringly" obvious to anyone that the victims - some of whom were riding bikes or climbing trees in parkland - were young boys.

Ordering the Wadsworths, of Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, to register as sex offenders for life, the judge added: "This case demonstrates the danger of conduct such as this.

"I have no doubt that some of the young boys have found themselves carrying some form of burden into adulthood.

"This is grave offending against boys, some of whom were very young - I have come to a view that all were damaged by their experience."

A significant degree of planning went into the offending, the judge said, with the Wadsworths acting together to lure boys into parkland near Atherstone. The judge told Mrs Wadsworth, who is a mother and grandmother: "There was grooming behaviour, you gave instructions to these boys as to what they should do."

The Wadsworths told the trial they engaged in or watched sex acts but claimed "young men" were involved.

As the verdicts were returned, Mrs Wadsworth - who was cleared of indecently assaulting one of the victims at her home - repeatedly gulped and wiped away tears with a black tissue.

Her husband showed little emotion and handed a mobile phone to a solicitor.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said the presenters had worked at the BBC's former studios at Pebble Mill, Birmingham.

Some of the couple's victims told the court Mrs Wadsworth was variously dressed in a "flasher's mac" trench coat, white high heels, stockings, suspenders, and a split skirt at the time of the offences.

Tony Wadsworth - an award-winning DJ who presented shows known for their Carry On film style along with his wife - was found guilty of indecent assault because of his role as an "early warning system" for his partner.

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