A veteran BBC presenter has been spared jail despite pleading guilty to wasting police time over a confession about smothering his homosexual lover.
Watch a news report on the trial
Prosecutor Simon Clements branded Ray Gosling as a “sheer liar and a fantasist” and he described the false claim as “particularly serious and malicious”.
Detectives are reported to be frustrated that the BBC didn’t fully investigate Mr Gosling’s so-called confession before broadcasting it, despite discussing the matter with the presenter four months earlier over a “boozy lunch”.
Mr Gosling’s claim aired in February on BBC East Midlands’ edition of the Inside Out programme, and at the time it was the latest in a series of high profile assisted suicide programmes broadcast by the Corporation.
Ray Gosling was given a 90-day suspended sentence earlier this week after he pleaded guilty to wasting police time.
Mr Gosling’s claim led to a six month investigation involving 32 police and support staff, which prosecutor Simon Clements estimated took more than 1,800 man hours.
In passing sentence District Judge John Stobart said: “As cases of wasteful employment of police time go, this is as bad a case of its type as I have seen.
“You know the power of television celebrity and the trust the public and television producers have in you. You have to match this with the responsibility of identifying and telling the truth to the public.”
Family members of Tony Judson, the supposed victim, told the court that they had suffered “huge distress, upset and even anger because what Gosling had said was a tissue of lies”.
During police questioning earlier this year Mr Gosling said: “I must’ve been thinking away from the media pressure that I’ve previously had.
“And I am not sure I put the pillow on his head and ended his life.
“I think I might’ve got carried away by hearing other people’s stories of how they were going to or had done their partners in.
“Everything else was true. He was my lover, he had AIDs, he was dying. The pillow bit, I might’ve got carried away.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that over 20 MPs signed an Early Day Motion which accuses the BBC of conducting a “multi-million pound campaign” to promote euthanasia.
The MPs also accused the broadcaster of showing a “persistent bias” in favour of euthanasia.