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BBC apologizes for bungled child sex abuse story


UPI News Service, 11/10/2012 

BBC's "Newsnight" program said a story about a child sex abuse case incorrectly implicating a former British Tory politician should not have been broadcast.

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BBC Director General George Entwistle said disciplinary action may be taken after the alleged abuse victim, Steve Messham, revealed he incorrectly identified Alistair Alpine, treasurer of the Conservative Party, as his abuser, Britain's The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Messhan, now an adult, had told "Newsnight" he was one of hundreds of children who allege they were abused by multiple people at Bryn Estyn care home in Wrexham, North Wales. He told the program, which ran Nov. 2, a former Tory politician had visited the home and abused him more than once.

Messham told the BBC he incorrectly identified McAlpine as his abuser after he was shown a photograph of the man Friday.

He said he positively identified a photograph police showed him of his abuser when he first made allegations in the 1980s. Messham said he was mistakenly told the photograph was of McAlpine.

"It's no kind of excuse or exoneration, but it's important to say that the film itself did not make a named allegation," Entwistle said.

"Mr. Messham has tonight made a statement that makes clear he wrongly identified his abuser and has apologized. We also apologize unreservedly for having broadcast this report," a statement by the BBC read at the beginning of Friday's "Newsnight" said.


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Copyright 2012 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any repr








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