BBC boss who worked on Panorama gasps as hes spared jail for child abuse pics

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A retired BBC boss gasped in shock when he avoided jail for having a collection of sick child abuse and illegal weapons.

Victor Melleney, who worked on some of the channel's biggest shows, escaped jail despite having hundreds of indecent images of children as young as two years old.

When the National Crime Agency raided his West London home, the 76-year-old was wearing a dressing gown.

In its pocket was a silver hard drive containing 612 sick child sex abuse pictures and videos.

Other hard drives and dongles were also found – some in the basement – containing more than 200 other pics and vile videos, which totalled more than 104 hours in length.

They also discovered three illegal tazers and CS gas spray.

Disgraced Melleney, who over 30 years with the BBC produced top shows including Question Time and Panorama, admitted while he was addicted to pornography, he had no interest in indecent images of children and had not intentionally downloaded them.

A jury at Kingston Crown Court believed him, but convicted him of possessing the indecent images.

He had earlier admitted four charges of possessing prohibited weapons.

Judge Simon Bryan QC, handed Melleney a 20-month prison sentence for the image offences and two months for the gun offences, suspended for two years due to his poor health.

He must also do 40 days of community service and be on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

The Judge told him: "You are 76 years old, you have had a heart attack and were intensive care for a period.

"A prison sentence would be particularly challenging. I must bear in mind the Covid-19 pandemic and the prison conditions of what would be a relatively short custodial term.

"You will have to live with the disgrace and ignominy that you have brought on yourself."

Kieran Vaughan QC, in mitigation for Melleney, said: "He was of good character until these proceedings.

"It is not an exaggeration to say as a consequence of these proceedings he has lost everything dear to him.

"His life has been decimated. His wife has left him. His eldest daughter does not speak to him at all. His youngest daughter has very little meaningful contact with him."

He added: "He is a lonely man living alone as a consequence of these proceedings. His life is completely unrecognisable now compared to what it was when he was arrested in 2018. His fall from grace from where he previously stood has been seismic."

The judge responded: "You might say he only has himself to blame."

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  • BBC
  • Crime
  • London

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