Profile: Chris Denning, former BBC Radio 1 DJ

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Media captionChris Denning already had a series of convictions, as Naomi Grimley reports

Chris Denning rose to prominence in the 1960s on BBC television and radio.

He was one of the first announcers heard on BBC Two when the channel began broadcasting in 1964, and was one of the original Radio 1 DJs when the station launched in 1967.

But behind the public persona was a serial sex offender who preyed on young boys.

"I would say my key age of attraction is about 15 or 16 actually," Denning once said in a television interview.

"I am a 14-year-old boy in a 68-9, 150-year-old horrible body."

Denning, now 73, once worked as a music producer for the Beatles, helped launch the careers of the Bay City Rollers and Gary Glitter, and ran his own music and video production business.

Image caption Chris Denning, circled in this picture, was among Radio 1 DJs pictured when the station launched in 1967
Image copyright PA
Image caption Denning, striped shirt, middle row, second from right, was part of a 1997 recreation of the 1967 photo

He remained a well-known DJ and presenter into the early 1970s.

In 1974, he was convicted of gross indecency and indecent assault but was not imprisoned.

He was then jailed for 18 months in 1985 for gross indecency, and in 1988 he received a three-year sentence, this time for indecent assault and possession of indecent images.

In 1996, he was handed a 10-week sentence for publishing indecent articles.

According to the Guardian, National Crime Intelligence Service officers believed Denning then moved his production company to eastern Europe.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Denning was jailed after a lengthy legal process in the Czech Republic

He was arrested in the Czech Republic in 1997 after a three-month surveillance operation involving Czech police and the National Criminal Intelligence Service.

The ensuing legal case did not conclude until 2000, when a Prague court jailed him for four-and-a-half years for having sexual contact with under-age teenage boys.

The conviction was based on evidence given by boys who said they were given gifts and money in return for sexual acts.

In Denning's final defence speech, which lasted 44 hours before the judge stopped it, he said he merely befriended the boys and admitted only cuddling them.

Punishments 'unfair'

The UK tried and failed to have Denning extradited from the Czech Republic, but in 2005 he was arrested at Heathrow Airport, having arrived from Austria.

In January 2006, a British court jailed him for four years after he admitted five charges of indecent assault on boys under 16 during the 1970s and 80s. Police said all the sexual assaults took place in the south of England.

He was then extradited to Slovakia, where he was given a five-year sentence in 2008 for producing indecent images of children.

Writing from his Slovakian prison in 2010, Denning told the Telegraph his various jail terms had been "unfair".

He argued that the UK age of sexual consent should be lowered from 16, saying the average age of consent across the EU at the time was 15 - though he has since admitted an offence against a boy as young as nine.

He told the newspaper there were "plenty of countries in the world that fit in with my tastes", but added: "Ultimately I intend to go back to Britain because I am not prepared to spend my life on the run."

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Denning has been jailed for 13 years for sexually abusing boys in the 1960s, 70s and 80s

In June 2013, he was arrested in the UK as part of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation into allegations which arose after the sex abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile came to light.

He was arrested under the strand of the investigation into offences not connected to Savile.

In November 2014, Denning pleaded guilty to 10 charges of indecent assault and two other indecency offences - adding to 28 indecent assault charges he had already admitted.

The offences were committed between 1967 and 1987 and related to 24 boys aged nine to 16.

On 16 December he was jailed for 13 years for sexually abusing boys in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Det Ch Insp Michael Orchard said Denning was a "dangerous, serial offender" and Baljit Ubhey, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said the scale of the child abuse was "truly shocking".

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