Ex-BBC producer of Question Time and Panorama convicted over child abuse images

·2-min read
Victor Melleney outside Kingston crown court (PA)
Victor Melleney outside Kingston crown court (PA)

An ex-BBC producer who was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children at his home near to Kensington Palace is facing jail.

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

Officers scoured an array of electronic devices at his home in Kensington, as well as at a £6 million property in Shepherd’s Bush.

Melleney, whose CV includes work on BBC Question Time and Panorama, claimed the images had been downloaded accidentally and were on the computer devices without his knowledge.

Jurors at Kingston crown court cleared the retiree of making indecent images of children, but found him guilty of possession of the stash of 832 videos and photos.

He was set free on bail until a hearing in the New Year, when he will also be sentenced for weapons possession - three tasers and CS gas spray - which he admitted prior to the trial.

Melleney attempted to block news of his trial, arguing jurors might be swayed by online comments linking him to past BBC scandals and the spectre of Jimmy Savile. But his bid for a reporting restriction was opposed by the Evening Standard and the Press Association, and rejected by Mr Justice Bryan.

Prosecutor Paul Douglass told the court how Melleney’s wife first greeted NCA officers during the 7am raid on their home, and the retired TV producer then entered wearing a light-coloured dressing gown.

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

“It is the most damning evidence against him and it was in his pocket. It was only later on found by officers after the defendant had changed out of his dressing gown and put it in the bathroom.”

Melleney argued that he is a “prolific user” of hardcore legal pornography, and suggested the images of children had been downloaded accidentally.

He is due to be sentenced on January 14, next year.

Melleney denies but was convicted 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.

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