BBC's Ray Gosling faces wasting police time charge

Ray Gosling was questioned live on television in February by BBC Breakfast's Bill Turnbull about his claims

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BBC television presenter Ray Gosling is to be charged with wasting police time after claiming on air that he smothered his terminally ill lover.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Mr Gosling, 71, of Nottingham, should be charged over claims he made to BBC Breakfast's Bill Turnbull in February.

He was arrested on suspicion of murder and freed on bail after the broadcast.

Mr Gosling, who received his summons earlier, said: "I'm sorry if the police think they wasted their time."

He said he was also sorry if there had been any hurt caused to the family of his former lover, who had been dying of Aids.

Mr Gosling first made his claim in a BBC Inside Out documentary about so-called mercy killings, broadcast on 15 February.

He was interviewed by Mr Turnbull about his claims on the Breakfast programme the following day.

Death pacts

Mr Gosling, a freelance presenter for BBC's Inside Out, said: "It was a small item on a regional TV programme Inside Out, in my country (sic) the East Midlands, to my people, with whom I have had an intimate relationship.

"It got out of hand that winter evening.

"I had had a week or two talking to people who had told me of the pacts they had had - some fulfilled with wives, lovers, husbands, who were dying in pain and some told me of pacts unfulfilled.

Start Quote

I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead”

End Quote Claim made by Ray Gosling

"I did not expect it to cause this fuss, I'm not joining any cause."

Mr Gosling's solicitor, Digby Johnson, said: "We are delighted that nobody has been killed, secondly that he has not been charged with murder and thirdly that the pressure of the uncertainty has come to an end.

"When all is said and done, when you watch him [Ray Gosling] walk, he is not in the best of health and, however much he may be the author of his own misfortune, he certainly hasn't benefited from this."

In the Inside Out broadcast, Mr Gosling broke down and said: "I killed someone once. He was a young chap, he'd been my lover and he got Aids.

"I said to the doctor: 'Leave me… just for a bit,' and he went away.

"I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead."

'Terrible pain'

He added: "We'd got an agreement, if it got worse, the pain, and nobody could do anything.

"He was in terrible pain, I was there and I saw it. It breaks you into pieces."

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Mr Gosling had been summonsed to appear before Nottingham magistrates on 14 September.

Helen Allen, senior lawyer in the Special Crime Division of the CPS, said police had found enough evidence to "provide a realistic prospect of proving that Mr Gosling's confession was false".

The summons alleges that he "caused wasteful employment of the police by knowingly making to Bill Turnbull a false report tending to show that an offence had been committed contrary to section 5 (2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967".

The BBC's Home Affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the summons related to the interview with Mr Turnbull because it went out "live" and was not recorded some time before broadcast, as the Inside Out programme had been.

He said this meant the item had not been edited and there could be no doubt about the way that Mr Gosling answered Mr Turnbull's questions.

The BBC has declined to comment about the matter.

Ray Gosling made the original claim in a BBC Inside Out documentary

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