Chris Denning (born 10 May 1941 in Hayes, Middlesex) is a British disc jockey. His career effectively ended when he was convicted for sexual offences in 1974, and he has spent three decades in and out of prison in Britain and overseas.
Early life and radio career
His first radio experience was on a short-wave station in the US as a teenager, and then on to Radio Moscow before travelling to Kenya to work on British Forces Network there with Keith Skues. He then returned to the UK in time to become the first announcer heard on the new BBC Television service BBC 2. He worked for Radio Luxembourg and Radio London before presenting the Saturday afternoon programme Where It's At with Kenny Everett (produced by Johnny Beerling) on the BBC's Light Programme. He then became one of the original DJs on BBC Radio 1, where he continued presenting Where It's At, had his own weekly show and deputised as necessary for Tony Blackburn on the latter's breakfast show.
Denning left Radio 1 in 1969 after facing accusations that his job there came into conflict with his new promotional job at Decca Records, which the BBC had initially agreed to with provisos. He worked for Decca for two years, at the same time that Jonathan King was employed by the record company. He then became the number 2 producer at Bell Records and was involved in developing the careers of the Bay City Rollers and Gary Glitter.
History of behaviour
Denning's first conviction for gross indecency and indecent assault was in 1974, when he was convicted at the Old Bailey, although he was not imprisoned. Before his conviction Denning had been working for Jonathan King's newly founded UK Records, but King sacked him after the guilty verdict.
During the 1970s, Denning was part of a group of child sex offenders based around a disco for young people called the Walton Hop. Other participants included Tam Paton, manager of the Bay City Rollers (convicted of child sex offences in 1982), and Jonathan King. All became suspects in Surrey Police's Operation Arundel, an investigation focusing on sex offenders, which ultimately led to convictions against King and Denning.
In 1985 he was imprisoned for 18 months for gross indecency with a child, and in 1988 when he was jailed for three years for indecent assault on a 13-year-old boy and possession of indecent photographs. In March 1996 he was imprisoned for 10 weeks for publishing indecent photographs. The following year he was held in Pankrác Prison in Prague awaiting trial. This did not take place until 2000 when he was convicted of abusing seven boys aged under 15. He was released in 2001.
After his release, he was wanted for questioning by Surrey police, but an extradition attempt to Britain in the Prague City Court failed because the alleged offences fell outside of the Czech Republic's statute of limitation to five years, but Denning was ordered to leave the country "indefinitely". He was finally arrested in August 2005 at Heathrow Airport after returning to Britain from Austria. He admitted to five charges of the indecent assault of boys aged under 16 years of age, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s: he was convicted the following February and imprisoned for four years. Meanwhile, a European arrest warrant was issued in December 2007.
In 2008 he was extradited from Britain to Slovakia, where he was jailed in October for five years after being found guilty of producing child pornography. The offences in Slovakia dated back to 2002 and 2003. He had been briefly been held in custody in Bratislava during 2004 following a search of his house, but then quickly left the country.
In June 2013 he was arrested in East London as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into sexual abuse. He was re-arrested and bailed in September of that year, although the allegations made against Denning are not part of those relating to Jimmy Savile.
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