Adina Tovy via Getty Images
A victim of sexual exploitation in Rotherham panicked and ‘felt sick’ after she heard her identity revealed in a live BBC radio broadcast, a court has heard.
Senior BBC executive Arif Ansari has gone on trial accused of breaching the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 which entitles all complainants of sexual offences to lifelong anonymity.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday how BBC Asian Network reporter Rickin Majithia revealed the real name of the complainant in a rape trial during a live report of the case in February 2018.
Prosecutor Neil Usher told the court how Majithia made the mistake as he wrongly believed the name he used was a pseudonym.
Usher said the woman was listening to the broadcast as it went out live.
In a statement read to the court, the complainant said: “I immediately panicked but carried on listening.”
She added: “I cannot believe this has happened to me.”
In her statement, the woman said it had been hard enough to give evidence at the Sheffield Crown Court trial and added: “To then have my name given out as a victim of rape on a BBC radio station was unbelievable.”
She said it had made her “feel sick”.
The statement was read at the beginning of the trial of Ansari, 43, who is the head of news at the BBC Asian Network.
Usher said that Ansari was the producer who checked the script used by his reporter ahead of the live report on February 6.
Giving evidence, Majithia said he had not covered a trial before and had not even sat in a crown court case.
Ansari, of BBC Portland Place, London, denies breaching the act.
The woman said in her statement: “At this point I went into full meltdown – panicking and crying – and I didn’t hear anything else that was said.”
Majithia told the court he found out about his mistake about 10 minutes after the broadcast when he had a call from Jayne Senior, a community worker in Rotherham.
He said: “I was horrified and I am horrified.
“I’m deeply, deeply sorry to the victim…