Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning Dies in Prison While Serving Sentence for Child Sex Offenses

The Life and Crimes of Chris Denning

Chris Denning, a former BBC Radio 1 DJ, has passed away in prison at the age of 81.

Denning, once described by a judge as “depraved,” had a notorious history of child sex offenses dating back to the 1970s.

He was serving two 13-year prison sentences for sexually abusing boys as young as eight under Operation Yewtree.

A Dark Legacy

Denning’s career in the entertainment industry began in the 1960s when he found fame as a BBC DJ, becoming one of the founding disc jockeys on the station.

Notably, he once hosted a party in the home of notorious paedophile Jimmy Savile.

Beyond his radio career, Denning used his showbiz connections to lure young boys for abuse, even opening computer game shops as a means to target victims.

Convictions Across Europe

Despite his convictions, Denning’s career continued, and he left the BBC for Decca Records, later contributing to the rise of paedophile Gary Glitter and the Bay City Rollers.

He faced multiple convictions across Europe, including Germany in 1959 and later in Prague, where he was accused of running a paedophile ring.

Denning represented himself in court and delivered a record 44-hour closing argument.

Operation Yewtree and Sentences

In 2013, Operation Yewtree was launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile revelations, and Denning was back in the UK.

He faced convictions in 2014 for 40 offenses against 24 boys aged nine to 16, earning him a 13-year sentence. In 2016, he admitted to abusing another 11 boys, as young as eight, and was sentenced to another 13 years.

Declining Health and End-of-Life Care

By July 2021, Denning was suffering from multiple health issues, including Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, heart abnormalities, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and bed sores.

In January 2022, he chose not to be resuscitated if his heart or breathing stopped. He passed away at Bedford Hospital on June 24, 2022, due to a bone infection caused by diabetes.

A clinical reviewer for the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman found issues of concern in his end-of-life care, stating that the care he received in custody was worse than what he could have expected as a free man.

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