Breaking Sussex West Wittering

Ex-Panorama producer sought out ‘Preteen’ sexual abuse online

A man from London has been convicted of possessing over 800 indecent images of children, after he admitted owning stun guns and pepper spray.

A former BBC producer has been found guilty of possessing indecent images of children following a National Crime Agency investigation.

Victor Melleney, 76, who previously worked on programmes such as Panorama and Question time, also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to four counts of possessing a prohibited weapon.

He was arrested by NCA officers at his Kensington flat in October 2018. The weapons – three tasers and a pepper spray – were recovered following a search of the flat and his Porsche.

Officers also seized Melleney’s laptop and iPad from this address.

An external hard drive, which he initially attempted to hide in his pocket, was recovered at his house close by in Holland Park.

His devices contained over 800 images and videos of child sexual abuse (categories A-C) and he had downloaded four different Peer 2 Peer file sharing applications onto them.

Analysis showed that the keywords he used to search for the material included “PTHC” (Pre Teen Hard Core), “Preteen” and “11 yo”.

In March 2019, NCA officers executed a warrant at another of Melleney’s properties in West Wittering, Chichester, as intelligence showed that he had also accessed child abuse material from the address in the month prior to his arrest.

Today at Kingston Crown Court, Melleney was found guilty of possessing indecent images of children.

He will be sentenced for this, along with the prohibited weapons offences, on 14 January 2022 at the same court.

Martin Ludlow, Operations Manager at the National Crime Agency, said: “Melleney had a significant collection of child abuse material, which he had sought out from with other like-minded individuals using the internet.

“It’s really important not to forget that behind every sexual abuse image is a child whose life has been cruelly torn apart by an abuser, with men like Melleney fuelling the demand for such material.

“Protecting children and targeting those who pose a sexual threat to them remains our top priority.”