Paedophile ex-BBC producer leading 'double life' tried to film Christmas play at private school

Former BBC producer Peter Croasdale, 58, was convicted of assault by penetration of a girl under 13 at Leeds Crown Court in 2009. (Reach)
Former BBC producer Peter Croasdale, 58, was convicted of assault by penetration of a girl under 13 at Leeds Crown Court in 2009. (Reach)

A convicted paedophile living a "double life" under a new identity was asked by a teacher to film a Christmas play at a girls school.

Former BBC producer Peter Croasdale, 58, was jailed for 4.5 years at Leeds Crown Court in 2009 for assault by penetration of a girl under 13.

But since his release, he had begun to live under the name of 'Peter Allen' with a new partner in Monmouth, Wales.

Croasdale agreed to help an unsuspecting teacher, who knew him from the Monmouth Male Voice Choir and was unaware of his prior convictions, to film a Christmas play at Haberdashers' Monmouth School.

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But before the filming took place, he was arrested for breach of a sexual harm prevention order over failing to tell police he had moved from his address in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

He was then given a suspended sentence of 18 months at Cardiff Crown Court in March.

However, the fact he was living under a false identity came to light by coincidence after an acquaintance of the teacher recognised the defendant's name from working at the BBC with him.

Croasdale was back in court on Friday where he pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, possession of indecent images of children, and possession of extreme pornographic images.

Police discovered the indecent images of children and extreme pornographic material on computers seized during his January arrest, it was revealed.

Found on the seized devices were 15 category A images, 28 category B images and 63 category C images of children between eight and 12 years old, the court heard.

Haberdashers' Monmouth School
Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls (Media Wales)

Regarding the fraud offence, prosecutor Claire Pickthall said: "This defendant offered to film a Christmas performance for a girls school and agreed to do so for a fee of £450, but no money exchanged hands.

"The defendant presented himself as Peter Allen, the name he had been using, and did not disclose to anyone involved he was a convicted sex offender.

"A teacher knew the defendant and described him as being taken in by him as a genuine, talented man and had no idea of his true past.

“He was recommended to the school as someone who could record the Christmas concert for parents of the school."

Defence barrister Tom Roberts said the proceedings had a "catastrophic impact" on his client's life resulting in the end of his new relationship.

He said the defendant believed he was "living a rehabilitated life", had been approached by someone to film the concert and he "should have said no".

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Roberts said Croasdale had been given "false hope" having been given a suspended sentence in March and was hoping to rebuild his life until these contemporary offences came to light.

Sentencing, judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke asked for the Crown Prosecution Service to provide an explanation as to why the offences had not been brought to the attention of the court and advocates at the defendant's first sentencing in March.

She said: "The judge was not aware of these outstanding matters, if he had I have no doubt you would have been sentenced to a custodial sentence. I am satisfied the charges are so serious only an immediate custodial sentence will be appropriate.

"You simply do not face up to the risk you pose."

Croasdale, of Woodgate Street, Bolton, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, with a further two years on licence as part of an extended sentence.

He will serve two-thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole.

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