Radio 1 DJ charged with child-sex attacks

Chris Denning (middle row, second right) with the original Radio 1 line-up. Picture: PA
Chris Denning (middle row, second right) with the original Radio 1 line-up. Picture: PA
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A FORMER BBC Radio DJ will be charged over a string of alleged sex attacks on boys aged nine to 16, prosecutors have said.

Chris Denning is accused of 41 crimes, including 34 counts of indecent assault involving 22 ­alleged victims between 1967 and 1985.

Denning, who is in his 70s, was one of the original Radio 1 line-up when the station launched in 1967. He was also the first announcer heard on BBC Radio 2 at its launch in 1964.

He worked as a producer for the Beatles and helped develop the career of the Bay City Rollers. He also ran his own music and video production business.

Prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to prosecute over complaints from three other alleged victims.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s London chief prosecutor, Baljit Ubhey, said: “We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Denning to be charged with 41 offences, including 34 counts of indecent assault.

“These date from between 1967 and 1985, and relate to 22 male complainants aged ­between nine and 16 at the time of the alleged offending.”

Denning was first arrested by detectives from sex-crime inquiry Operation Yewtree in June last year, and had been released on bail. He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

Ms Ubhey said: “The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and Crown Prosecution Service legal guidance on rape and child sexual abuse. We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”

Denning is the fifth person prosecuted as part of Operation Yewtree and was a BBC colleague of the late DJ Jimmy Savile. Allegations about Savile, who died aged 84 in October 2011, sparked the Yewtree inquiry. Denning left Radio 1 in 1969 after facing accusations that his job there came into conflict with his new promotional job at Decca Records, which the BBC had initially agreed to with provisos.

He worked for Decca for two years, at the same time as Jonathan King – jailed in 2001 for sex offences against boys.

He then became a producer at Bell Records and worked with the Bay City Rollers and also Gary Glitter, who has since been convicted of sex offences.