UK

No charges for broadcaster Paul Gambaccini in Yewtree case

Paul Gambaccini in 2011

BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini will not face action over alleged historical sex offences, prosecutors say.

The 65-year-old was held at a south London address in October last year as part of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Yewtree investigation.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the inquiry followed claims of sex offences against two teenage boys in the early 1980s.

Mr Gambaccini said he has suffered "12 months of trauma".

He has always denied the claims.

In a statement issued by his lawyers, he said: "There may be members of the press who will ask me to give interviews or make provocative statements. I will politely decline. To discuss horror in this way is to trivialise it.

"I will never trivialise the 12 months of trauma to which I have been unjustly subjected.

"I would like to thank my friends, my lawyers and the people of this country for their support during the past year. Wherever I have gone, I have been stopped in the street by members of the public offering encouragement. I am very grateful. I'll be back at work soon."

Mr Gambaccini's solicitor, Kate Goold, said: "We are delighted with the outcome but deeply concerned at the length of time it took to resolve this investigation.

"Paul made his innocence clear at the outset and questions remain as to why this investigation took so long."

'Insufficient evidence'

The CPS said a 75-year-old man arrested on the same day as Mr Gambaccini will also face no further action.

Baljit Ubhey, the Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS London, said: "Having carefully reviewed this case, we have decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute."

The CPS said the allegations of sexual offences were made by two males believed to be aged between 14 and 15 at the time of the alleged offences.

The allegations were said to have taken place over a two-year period.

Mr Gambaccini and the 75-year-old were arrested at separate addresses on 29 October 2013.

They were the 15th and 17th people detained under Operation Yewtree, which was set up in 2012 following revelations of sexual abuse carried out by DJ Jimmy Savile.

Police say the investigation fell under the strand of the Yewtree termed "others" - those allegations not connected to Savile. The other two strands concern the actions of Savile himself, and those involving "Savile and others".

'Media attention'

At the time of his arrest New York-born Mr Gambaccini had been presenting a show on BBC Radio 2 on Saturdays. But the BBC said he had decided to stop appearing on the programme "in light of... media attention".

The broadcaster, who has a string of TV and radio shows and books to his name, presented music hits and classics from the US on the show.

Mr Gambaccini later released a statement to say: "On Monday night, October 28, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical, The Scottsboro Boys, at the Young Vic theatre.

"It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offences. Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music."

In total, 17 men have been questioned by police since Operation Yewtree was set up.

Comedians Jim Davidson and Freddie Starr are among 10 men who have been told they will face no further action.

There have been three convictions - entertainer Rolf Harris, publicist Max Clifford and DJ Dave Lee Travis.

Driver David Smith was charged, but died before his case came to court and another man, aged 73, remains on bail following his arrest in April. Two Crown Court trials are yet to take place.

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