Denning ‘used fame to groom boys’


Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning “used the allure of the record industry and celebrity” to sexually assault 24 boys as young as nine – including one allegedly at Jimmy Savile’s house.

Denning, 73, one of the founding presenters on the flagship station, used drink and drugs including ecstasy to groom his young victims.

He took young boys out to watch Top Of The Pops recordings and introduced them to a string of stars including the disgraced late DJ Jimmy Savile.

The prolific paedophile began abusing the boys in 1967 – the same year he was unveiled as one of the founding DJs at Radio 1.

He moved to Dorset in the 1970s where he opened a computer games shop and used the “exceptionally exciting” technology to prey on boys and abuse them.

Neil Moore, prosecuting, told London’s Southwark Crown Court: “The defendant used the allure first of the record industry and celebrity, and then the world of computer games, to entice boys into his company.

“He spoke to them about his career and the celebrities of the moment he knew.

“He offered them cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, bought them gifts and gave them money.

“He gave them access to pornographic material and gave them the means to do what they wanted in order to groom them.

“He took them to meals and took them to celebrity parties.

“He would introduce them gradually to sexual material by suggesting sexual experimentation is natural. He would then move to sexually abuse them.

“Often a number of boys would be present at his home at the same time. And on a number of occasions he took pictures and videos of the boys.

“He always seemed to satisfy the parents that his motives were good and sound rather than indecent, as they were.”

Mr Moore described how Denning sexually assaulted dozens of boys over the next 20 years while at the height of his fame.

One of his teenage victims told how Denning took him back to his home which was an “Aladdin’s Cave” of pornography.

Mr Moore told how Denning’s singled out his victims at discos, skateparks and youth centres.

He boasted of his “huge record collection” and asked many of the boys back to his house to help catalogue them.

His victims thought Denning was kind and “charismatic”, but soon the abuse would begin.

Mr Moore said Denning took one boy, aged 12 to 14, to watch Top of the Pops before repeatedly abusing him at his home.

He said: “He described being given alcohol and said initially he found it exciting and mesmerising because the defendant would talk about all the famous people he knew such as Jimmy Savile.

“He would also take them out for meals, concerts and took them to a studio to see filmings of Top of the Pops.”

Other victims told how they were taken to celebrity parties where they met Savile and music mogul Jonathan King, who both have since been unmasked as sex offenders.

One of his victims was 14 or 15 when he was abused by Denning. He said it happened at Savile’s home – although Savile is not said to have been involved.

Denning has admitted a total of 40 assaults over 20 years.

He pleaded guilty to 36 counts of indecent assault on a male and four indecent assaults on a child.

He has a string of convictions for sex offences on boys.

The case was brought under Operation Yewtree, the police probe set up in the wake of the Savile scandal.

Denning, of Basildon in Essex, wore a hearing loop and stared at his victims and their families, who had travelled from all over the country to see justice done, as he walked into the dock.

Published: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by The News Editor

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