How sick Denning tried to defend himself: Paedophile DJ claimed spending teenage years as rent boy and desire not to be lonely fuelled his crimes during 2001 interview

Published December 18, 2014 by JS2
  • Chris Denning gave interview in Prague after spending three years in jail
  • Former BBC man, 73, sexually abused underage boys in Czech Republic
  • Said at time: ‘What am I supposed to do? Live my whole life on my own?’
  • Yesterday, Denning was jailed for 13 years in London for other assaults

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A disturbing interview by Chris Denning – in which he described himself as a ‘bizarre person’ – emerged last night as the former BBC DJ was jailed for sexual assault.

The 73-year-old paedophile gave the interview in Prague in 2001 after spending more than three years in jail for sexually abusing underage boys in the Czech Republic.

Before leaving Pankrác Prison in the city, he tried to defend himself by claiming that his crimes were fuelled by a desire not to be lonely and spending his teenage years as a rent boy.

Speaking to reporter James Pitkin of The Prague Post, he said: ‘It’s just what happened. And what am I supposed to do? Live my whole life on my own? I wasn’t prepared to do that.

He added: ‘If anyone could prove that this hurts anyone, I would never do it again and I never would have done it in the first place. They base their prejudice on pseudo-science and preposterous notions.

‘I think the root of my condition, if you can call it that, is that I only felt comfortable with boys who wanted to do the same thing. That’s where the guilt comes in, because I felt I was a dirty boy.’

Denning said he was a male prostitute from the age of 13 and often formed lasting friendships with boys.

But he was sent to prison for four years for the sexual abuse of eight boys in Prague in 1997, with a court hearing that he paid the children, all under the local age of consent of 15, for sex acts.

Paid local boys for sex acts: Denning (left) is escorted by a justice guard to a court hearing in the Czech Republic in March 2000, three years after he was jailed for the sexual abuse of eight boys in Prague in 1997

Paid local boys for sex acts: Denning (left) is escorted by a justice guard to a court hearing in the Czech Republic in March 2000, three years after he was jailed for the sexual abuse of eight boys in Prague in 1997

The interview in the English-language newspaper was reprinted in full by The Independent today.

Yesterday, Denning was jailed at Southwark Crown Court in central London for 13 years for sexually assaulting 24 boys – including one allegedly at Jimmy Savile’s house.

Denning, one of the founding presenters on Radio One, ‘used the allure of the record industry and celebrity’ to seduce and groom his victims.

He took boys to watch Top of the Pops recordings and introduced them to stars including Savile. He began assaulting the boys in 1967 – the same year he was unveiled as one of the founding DJs.

Court sketch: Denning was jailed at Southwark Crown Court in central London yesterday for 13 years for sexually assaulting 24 boys - including one allegedly at Jimmy Savile's house

Court sketch: Denning was jailed at Southwark Crown Court in central London yesterday for 13 years for sexually assaulting 24 boys – including one allegedly at Jimmy Savile’s house

And he continued his campaign of abuse against boys as young as 10 for two decades. He later opened computer games shops and used the ‘exceptionally exciting’ technology to prey on boys.

Denning, of Basildon, Essex, stared at his victims and their families – who had travelled from all over the country to see justice done – as he strolled into the dock for the sentencing.

The former DJ, who suffers from a string of health problems including Parkinson’s, admitted 40 assaults – 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 inquiry set up in the wake of the Savile scandal.

Mark Durell

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