Neil Usher, instructed by the National Crime Agency, prosecuted Arif Ansari, Head of News for the BBC Asian Network. Mr Ansari was accused of allowing a reporter to name in his broadcast one of the victims of the Rotherham sex abuse cases. He is the first BBC editor to have been prosecuted under S1 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment Act) 1992.
The reporter used the victim’s real name in his radio broadcast, but stated he believed he was using a pseudonym. The victim was listening to BBC Asian Network news as the offending broadcast was aired and immediately reported the matter to the National Crime Agency.
Mr Ansari, represented by the BBC’s legal team headed by Trevor Burke QC, stated that whilst he had read the script containing the victim’s true identity prior to broadcast, he had no reason to suspect the script contained the victim’s real name, an account accepted by the District Judge following a contested trial at Sheffield Magistrates Court.