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Rotherham sexual exploitation victim "felt sick" to be named on live radio, court heard

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. Credit: PA 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 .

Victims of sexual offences have lifelong anonymity under the act.

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 Mr Majithia made the mistake as he wrongly believed the name he used was a pseudonym.

Mr Usher said the woman was listening to the broadcast as it went out live.

In a statement read to the court, the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, 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 has 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.

Mr 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, Mr 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 trial continues.