Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ex-BBC presenters found guilty of indecently assaulting under-age boys

Tony and Julie Wadsworth were found guilty of encouraging a string of boys to take part in sexual activity.

By Laura Harding

Two former BBC radio presenters have been convicted of indecently assaulting under-age boys and outraging public decency by having sex in woodland.

Husband-and-wife Tony and Julie Wadsworth were found guilty by a majority verdict of encouraging a string of boys, including a teenager looking for a golf ball, to take part in sexual activity in Warwickshire between 1992 and 1996.

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Julie Wadsworth, 60, and her 69-year-old husband told Warwick Crown Court they engaged in or watched sex acts in an area of parkland but claimed “young men” were involved.

Mrs Wadsworth was convicted by majority 10-2 verdicts of nine indecent assaults and five counts of outraging decency after a three-week trial.

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Her husband, who acted as a “look-out” during sexual activity involving his wife and a total of six youngsters, was found guilty of the same charges, also by majority verdicts.

As the verdicts were returned, Mrs Wadsworth – who was cleared of indecently assaulting one of the victims at her home – repeatedly gulped, swayed in the dock and wiped away tears with a black tissue.

Tony Wadsworth showed little emotion and handed a mobile phone to a solicitor before the couple were remanded in custody for sentencing later.

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At the start of the trial, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said the Wadsworths – known to the public as Wadsworth and Mayer (Julie’s on-air surname) – had worked at the BBC’s former studios at Pebble Mill, Birmingham.

Some of the couple’s victims told the court Mrs Wadsworth was variously dressed in a “flasher’s mac” trench coat, white high-heels, stockings, suspenders, and a split-skirt at the time of the offences near Atherstone.

Outlining the prosecution case at the start of the trial, Miss Moore said an 11-year-old boy was among those who witnessed the couple’s offences.

Mr Wadsworth – an award-winning DJ who presented shows with his wife on BBC Radio Leicester and Birmingham-based BBC WM – was found guilty of indecent assault because of his role as an “early warning system” for his partner.

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During the trial, it emerged that two groups of victims contacted police after a complainant realised two years ago that what had taken place in the 1990s “was not right and not appropriate”.

The victim, who cannot be named, told jurors he met the Wadsworths in parkland and only discovered their names after recognising their voices on a radio show.

In videos of police interviews played to a jury, the man claimed he had up to 15 sexual encounters as a teenager with Mrs Wadsworth – around half of them before he turned 16.

On one occasion, the court heard, Tony Wadsworth joined in a “threesome” with the teenager at the couple’s home after he turned 16.

One of the complainants told the trial Mrs Wadsworth “must have known” her victims were under age because of their appearance.

Both defendants, of Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, denied any wrongdoing in police interviews and in the witness box.

Press Association

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