Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning was sentenced to 13 years in prison today for a string of historic sex attacks on young boys that included taking one victim back to an "Aladdin's Cave" of pornography.

The 73-year-old, who reportedly began the abuse when he reached the height of his celebrity in 1967, was described as "utterly depraved" by Judge Alistair McCreath after it was revealed he singled out victims at discos, skateparks and youth centres before enticing them back to his home and grooming them.

At Denning's sentencing today Neil Moore, prosecuting, told Southwark Crown Court about the abuse Denning's victims suffered.

He said: "He gave them access to pornographic material and gave them the means to do what they wanted in order to groom them.

"He took them to meals and took them to celebrity parties.

"He would introduce them gradually to sexual material by suggesting sexual experimentation is natural. He would then move to sexually abuse them."

During his sentencing it was revealed that Denning used drink and drugs, such as ecstasy, to groom victims as young as 10 after using his position as one of Radio 1's founding DJs to entice youngsters to spend time with him.

Details of Denning's abuse emerged in court as the former DJ faced sentencing for sexually assaulting 24 boys.

The court heard that Denning:

  • Offered his victims cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, bought them gifts and gave them money

  • Gave the youngsters he was grooming access to pornographic material

  • Introduced his young victims to sexual material and suggested to them that sexual experimentation is natural

  • Took pictures and videos of young boys he groomed

  • Threw kittens into the bathtub where one of his victims was bathing

Denning's abuse left his victims with depression, despair and even led some of them to subsequent suicide attempts, the court heard today.

Summing up at court Neil Moore, prosecuting, said victims of Denning's abuse had suffered "changes of character, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attempted suicide, withdrawal from society, a lack of confidence, self doubt."

David Burgess, speaking for the defendant, said Denning had himself suffered from abuse at boarding school and wanted to "express his sincere apologies" to his victims.