Ray Gosling, a BBC presenter who claimed on TV to have ended the life of his homosexual lover in a ‘mercy killing’, has been charged with wasting police time.
Mr Gosling had claimed that he had smothered his same-sex lover as the man lay seriously ill in hospital with AIDS. But doubts soon emerged over his story.
A source close to the police also criticised the BBC for airing the programme without checking whether Mr Gosling’s claims were correct, saying it was “surprising that more checks were not carried out before these very serious allegations were allowed to be broadcast”.
At the time the BBC programme was the latest in a series of high profile assisted suicide programmes broadcast by the Corporation.
And it came after a group of MPs accused the broadcaster of conducting a “multi-million pound campaign” to promote euthanasia.
BBC producers who privately knew about the confession for two months also failed to notify the police.
Now the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided to charge Mr Gosling with wasting police time.
Helen Allen, from the CPS, said Mr Gosling was “interviewed several times by the police and detectives conducted an extensive investigation into the allegation”.
She added that police had found “sufficient evidence” to show that “Mr Gosling’s confession was false” and then asked the CPS to “consider whether he should be prosecuted for wasting police time, given the amount of work they had to carry out to establish what had happened”.
“After careful consideration of all the evidence I decided that Mr Gosling should be prosecuted for wasting police time and advised the police to obtain a summons to that effect”, she said. He will appear before Nottingham magistrates on 14 September.
During a documentary broadcast in February Mr Gosling claimed to have “killed someone once”.
Nottinghamshire Police arrested Mr Gosling on suspicion of murder soon after the claims were broadcast, but he said he would not co-operate with the investigation.
In February Paul Watson, a former colleague of Mr Gosling, cast doubt on his claims. He said: “I think it is desperate seeking of attention. He is a lovely man, but he does know how to manipulate the media.”
And Dr Peter Saunders from the campaign group Care Not Killing said at the time: “At the moment all we have is Ray’s word there was a pact and it wasn’t clear from his description whether his lover even wanted to be killed or asked to be.
“It’s not up to us as the viewing public, on the basis of one very brief selective testimony, to draw conclusions on what might be a very complex case.”