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Breaking News: Ray Gosling misled police over murder claims

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Issued by Christian Concern For Our Nation

Press Release

Breaking News: Ray Gosling misled police over murder claims

For Immediate Release

14 September 2010

Christian Concern for our Nation (CCFON) is calling for a public apology from both Ray Gosling and the BBC following the broadcast of false murder claims. CCFON is also calling for the BBC Board to investigate whether its own guidelines relating to fair and impartial broadcasting have been breached, following concerns raised over its coverage of end of life issues.

Ray Gosling, the veteran BBC presenter, has been spared jail after he admitted making up a confession that he killed a previous homosexual lover who was dying of Aids. His case has been used by a pro-euthanasia lobby group to advocate a loosening of the law.

Mr. Gosling made his claim on a BBC program on death and dying last February, and then repeated it several times subsequently. After being arrested on suspicion of murder and interviewed, Mr. Gosling admitted that he had not been present at the man’s death and had made up the story about putting a pillow over the man’s face. He has now been given a 90-day suspended prison sentence at Nottingham Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to wasting police time.

Mr. Gosling told police: "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.” However, Prosecutor Simon Clements said there was significant pre-meditation in the making of the report and Gosling had weeks to decide whether to continue, following which he repeated the false report in interviews.

Pro-euthanasia lobby group Dignity in Dying had previously jumped on the story to advocate a further loosening of the law relating to euthanasia.

The BBC has been heavily criticised for publishing Mr. Gosling’s claims without checking their validity. Last February the BBC faced allegations of pursuing an “incredibly zealous” campaign in favour of euthanasia from the chairman of the Care Not Killing Alliance, Lord Carlile. He accused the BBC of providing “biased” coverage on the issue after it broadcast Sir Terry Pratchett’s lecture encouraging “euthanasia tribunals”.

The BBC decided to broadcast Mr. Gosling’s confession just ahead of the new prosecution guidelines on assisted suicide being published by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of Christian Concern for our Nation, said: “Ray Gosling’s false claims came at a time when there was sustained pressure by a minority of vocal and well-organised euthanasia campaigners to weaken the law on euthanasia. This would have been to the detriment of the whole of society. Both the BBC and Ray Gosling must have realised that such a statement would create publicity and cause pressure to be applied during a critical time. People who are suffering at the end of their lives need to be shown compassion and given better palliative care. We don’t need to give people a licence to kill.”

ENDS.

For further information, please contact Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of Christian Concern for our Nation, on 07712 591 164. 

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