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Sentencing of ex-DJ Denning delayed

The sentencing of former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning for sex attacks on 24 boys as young as nine has been adjourned after the prosecutor failed to attend court because of ill health.

The 73-year-old, who was arrested in June last year by detectives from Operation Yewtree, has admitted a total of 41 charges over a period of 20 years from 1967 to 1987.

The majority of offences related to victims aged between 10 and 14.

The families of some of his victims had attended London's Southwark Crown Court but Judge Alistair McCreath said he "feared a risk of injustice if I do proceed today".

Several members of the public left the courtroom in tears after hearing the news and were comforted outside.

But the disgraced DJ, who suffers from a string of illnesses including Parkinson's disease and diabetes and finds it difficult to walk, was not brought into the court.

Judge McCreath said: "I'm extremely sorry that it has not been possible to proceed today.

"But I hope you all understand that to rush into this with a prosecutor, willing though he is, who is unprepared will mean injustice for those who are the victims of this as much as the defendant."

Denning has a string of convictions for sex attacks on boys.

The attacks he is due to be sentenced for began in 1967, the same year he was revealed as one of the original line-up for the newly launched Radio 1.

After last month's court hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Michael Orchard, from the Metropolitan Police, described Denning as a "dangerous serial offender" who committed offences against "a large number of young boys".

He added: "Denning's only redeeming quality is that he has not made his victims go through the trial process.

''I would like to thank the victims for their bravery and courage in coming forward. I hope that Denning's admittance of guilt is the first step in helping them move on with their lives.''

Denning, of Basildon in Essex, will be sentenced at the same court on December 16.

He was charged under Operation Yewtree, the police probe set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

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