Updated: Ray Gosling will be charged with wasting police time over ‘mercy killing’
Gay BBC presenter Ray Gosling will be charged with wasting police time after he claimed to have killed a gay lover who was dying from AIDS.
The 71-year-old was arrested in February on suspicion of murder after he said in a BBC documentary that he had smothered the man in hospital years ago.
He answered bail today and the Crown Prosecution Service said there was “sufficient evidence” to suggest that his confession was false.
Helen Allen of the CPS said that Gosling will be charged with wasting police time, which carries a sentence of up to six months in jail.
She told the Daily Telegraph: “Mr Gosling was arrested by Nottinghamshire Police on suspicion of murder following his appearance in a television programme in which he confessed to killing a former lover who was dying of AIDS.
“He was interviewed several times by the police and detectives conducted an extensive investigation into the allegation.
“The police were in contact with the CPS during the investigation and a file was passed to the Special Crime Division on July 28th.
“The police established that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of proving that Mr Gosling’s confession was false and asked the CPS to consider whether he should be prosecuted for wasting police time, given the amount of work they had to carry out to establish what had happened.
“After careful consideration of all the evidence I decided that Mr Gosling should be prosecuted for wasting police time and advised the police to obtain a summons to that effect.
“The summons for him to appear before Nottingham magistrates on September 14th was served on Mr Gosling when he answered his police bail today.”
A source told The Times today that Nottinghamshire Police spent hundreds of hours investigating Gosling’s claims and were frustrated that the BBC apparently made no effect to verify them before broadcast.
In the BBC’s Inside Out programme, Gosling described how he agreed to help the man die in a pact.
He said: “In a hospital one hot afternoon, the doctor said, ‘There’s nothing we can do’, and he was in terrible, terrible pain. 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.”
He initially said he would refuse to name the man, the hospital in which the alleged killing took place and when it occurred but is thought to have told police the man’s name.
Gosling’s claim reopened debate about assisting the suicide of others, which is illegal in England and Wales under the 1961 Suicide Act. Those convicted can face up to 14 years in jail.