BBC news chief in the dock over alleged naming of Rotherham child sex abuse victim

A BBC radio channel’s head of news has appeared in court over a news report in which a Rotherham child sex abuse victim was allegedly named.

Arif Ansari was charged under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 in relation to a news bulletin on BBC Asian Network in February.

He is accused of publishing a name likely to lead members of the public to identify a person against whom an offence was alleged to have been committed.

Sexual offences victims are entitled under the law to lifelong anonymity.

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BBC Asian Network editor charged over naming Rotherham child abuse victim

A senior BBC news executive has been charged under the Sexual Offences Act over a report that identified a Rotherham child abuse victim.

Arif Ansari, head of news at the Asian Network, appeared in court earlier this week.

The prosecution relates to a live broadcast on the radio station from a grooming trial in February, during which a reporter mistakenly named a victim of a sexual offence.

Last night the BBC attacked prosecutors for bringing criminal action against the editor personally, rather than the corporation itself, warning that the “worrying decision” creates “a climate of fear” for the media. Mr Ansari intends to plead not guilty.

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