Ex-BBC producer given suspended prison sentence over child abuse footage

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The former BBC producer who was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children at his home near Kensington Palace has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Victor Melleney, 76, had abuse footage on a hard drive hidden in his dressing gown pocket when his home was raided by the National Crime Agency in 2018.

Officers searched a range of electronic devices at his home in Sheffield Terrace, Kensington, as well as a £6million property in Shepherd’s Bush.

Melleney, who spent 30 years at the BBC on shows such as Question Time and Panorama, claimed the footage was downloaded accidentally and was on the computing devices without his knowledge.

But he was found guilty by a jury knowing he had the stash of material, which included the abuse of children as young as two and video footage 104 hours in length.

“You have only yourself to blame for the disgrace and shame that has befallen you, as a 76-year-old man with a long and distinguished career behind you as a BBC producer,” said the Judge Brian.

“This fuels sexual abuse and untold suffering and harm for children who are abused. This carries profound and, in many cases, lifelong adverse consequences for them – the very antithesis of a victimless crime.

Melleney also admitted to four counts of possession of weapons, plus three Tasers and a pepper spray that were found by NCA officers.

He was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for the next two years, and was ordered to complete 40 days of re-education to combat his sex crimes.

The judge noted Melleney’s poor health and lack of offenses since his arrest when he decided not to send him straight to jail, adding: “You have to live with the shame and ignominy that you have brought to yourselves. attracted.”

Melleney told Kingston Crown Court during his trial how he had been addicted to adult pornography for several years, and he said he did not deliberately upload the 832 videos and photos featuring children .

He continued to deny knowing that abuse images and videos were on his devices, in a position the judge called “defying belief”.

Prosecutor Paul Douglass told the court how Melleney’s wife first greeted NCA agents during the 7 a.m. raid on their home, and the retired television producer then walked in dressed in a light colored dressing gown.

“When speaking to the officers, in the pocket of his dressing gown, the defendant had a hard drive which contained the majority of the indecent images of children,” he said.

“This is the most damning evidence against him and it was in his pocket. It wasn’t until later that the officers found him after the defendant took off his dressing gown and put it in the bedroom. bathroom.

A Taser was found in his car, along with two similar weapons recovered from his home along with the pepper spray. Melleney conceded in an interview that he was willing to use the gun in self-defense.

Melleney denies this but was found guilty of possessing indecent photographs of children. He was acquitted of making indecent photographs of children, possessing an extreme pornographic image and possessing a prohibited image. He also pleaded guilty to four counts of possession of a prohibited weapon.

He will now be under a sexual abuse prevention order for the next ten years.

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