Last updated on January 18th, 2022 at 12:51 pm
Despite owning 832 indecent images of children, a former BBC director has avoided jail time. As a matter of fact, Victor Melleney was so shocked, that he gasped after Judge Simon Bryan had read the sentence.
Bryan handed the former show director of BBC’s Panorama and Question Time a 20-month sentence for the child abuse images and a two months sentence for gun offences, but had the time suspended due to poor health stemming from a recent heart attack.
Melleney was wearing a dressing gown when he was arrested at his home in Kensington the morning of October 15, 2018. In his pocket was a portable silver hard-drive which contained the most damning evidence: 612 of the total 832 images were found on it. The 76-year old said he had no clue as to how the illegal material got there, explaining that he had “no interest” in the images found. It was also revealed in court that Melleney was addicted to “legal pornography”. In the search, officers also found illegal stun guns and a weapon that discharges noxious gas.
Melleney must undergo 40 days of rehab, and will be placed on a sex offenders’ register for 10 years. But no prison time.
Said Judge Bryan, “You are 76 years old, of poor health due to a heart condition. You had a heart attack and were in intensive care for a period. A prison sentence would be particularly challenging. I must bear in mind the Covid-19 pandemic and the prison conditions of what would be a relatively short custodial term… You will have to live with the disgrace and ignominy that you have brought on yourself.” Upon hearing the sentence, Melleney gasped in shock.
Last month, a jury deliberated for close to nine hours and found Melleney guilty of possessing indecent pictures of children. The jury also found him not guilty on three other counts: making indecent photographs of children, possessing an extreme pornographic image, and possessing a prohibited image.