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for Sunday 20th August 2017

Outrage over BBC broadcast of paedophile's 'boastful' interview

The host issued an apology the day after the transmission

BBC radio listeners were left outraged after a jailed paedophile was allowed to boast about his sickening crimes on air.

A prisoner called into DJ Allan Beswick’s Late Night Phone-In programme on BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Lancashire, and told how he’d committed sexual acts with his two young children, even claiming they’d enjoyed it.

He further horrified listeners by saying that DVDs of “child sex” should be given to adults as a substitute for them abusing children.

Allan, 68, was strongly criticised for allowing the disgusting debate to continue for almost five minutes.

Radio host Allan Beswick

The caller said: “What right has society to say that a child cannot enjoy the pleasures of sex until that child is 16 years of age? It is a complete nonsense.

“Both of my daughters enjoyed sex with me when they were eight years of age, with the full consent and knowledge of their mother.”

It’s been revealed that the BBC Trust launched an immediate investigation after the incident on March 1.

The Trust’s editorial standards committee said the programme was a serious breach of BBC guidelines - on harm and offence, reporting crime, and protecting the victims of sexual offences.

“Trustees were deeply troubled by this incident, which they considered showed a grave lack of judgement by the presenter and a serious failure to follow the programme’s protocols,” said the report.

I’m now convinced that I shouldn’t have allowed the call to continue.

The report added that the prisoner “had been given the opportunity to put forward justification for the most serious and distressing of crimes without adequate challenge".

Allan admitted his mistake the next day.

“If you were listening last night, you might have heard from a caller who made a number of grossly offensive comments,” he told listeners.

“Now, I’ve listened back to what he said and I’ve discussed the matter with people that I trust, and I’m now convinced that I shouldn’t have allowed the call to continue.

“I should have ended it sooner. A lot sooner. So I apologise for that. And I apologise because I think you’re entitled to expect rather better from me.”

The radio host has not been suspended, but the episode has been withdrawn from BBC iPlayer.

A BBC spokesperson said: “This was completely unacceptable and clearly broke our strict editorial guidelines. A full, on-air apology was made.

“All those involved recognise it was wrong to broadcast such offensive content. We have already reviewed and strengthened our procedures and provided additional training and supervision.”

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