CHARLES SALE: Official BBC report bares all in Ben Jacobs sabotage saga

30 March 2011 11:11
Investigation: Former BBC employee Ben Jacobs

The official report following a four-month BBC investigation into the sabotaging of a Radio 5 Live pre-recorded interview with Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is damning in the extreme over the behaviour of freelance Ben Jacobs.

Leaked extracts from findings of the BBC Investigations Unit revealJacobs has been named the culprit for inserting obscene material intoan early morning sports news broadcast on October 3. The report accuseshim of bringing the BBC into disrepute and he will never work for themagain.

The internal BBC probe used CCTV evidence and access control recordsto show Jacobs was in the relevant newsroom of Television Centre at5.22am when the sabotage took place on a computer accessed by his username and password.

Minutes later 'a person identical in stature and clothing' was seenleaving the building and walking towards the taxi pick-up point.

The BBC have informed Jacobs by letter of their decision, claiminghis 'gross misconduct' would have led to immediate dismissal if he wasan employee. But his freelance status has led to a lifetime ban fromthe BBC instead.

A statement from the lawyer representing Jacobs said: 'Benvehemently denies all allegations against him as he has done from thebeginning.

He has fully co-operated with the BBC and remains disappointed theycontinue to make public unproven and unfounded information, which insome cases he has only learned about from the media.'

 After more than four years of high-level consultation since the 2005 Ashes series and promises of a crackdown on ticket touts and the pirate market, the Government have ended up doing absolutely nothing, ensuring the black market for major sports events will carry on thriving.

Their findings, hidden away on the Department of Media, Culture and Sport website rather than announced by Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe or Secretary of State Ben Bradshaw, propose a self-regulation in the ticket industry that will not happen.

A DCMS spokesperson said the decision reflects public opinion. 

 Pub football team Blacksmiths, who play in the WJ Harrison Lincoln League, are admirably upbeat despite their woeful record of having lost all 15 of their matches this season, scoring just three goals while conceding 215. Their last game ended 27-0.

Julz Dixon, landlady of the Blacksmiths Arms and club secretary, says: 'If we continue like this we're heading for the Guinness Book of Records as the worst team ever. We know we're rubbish, but I can't fault the attitude of the players.' 

 Tax crackdown on football includes stinging the Football Supporters' Federation for about ?50,000-worth of VAT arrears after they applied to become a VAT-registered business.

HMRC said their details showed they should already have been paying VAT for four years and hit them with the bill.

FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke said: 'We can't talk about football playing by the rules unless we do so ourselves and we've paid up.'

 Everything to do with Portsmouth is a mystery, including why Fuglers lawyer Mark Jacob remains on the board as an executive director when former owner Ali Al Faraj, whom Jacob represented but never met, has sold the club.

Jacob marginalised chief executive Peter Storrie during the Al Faraj reign, but Storrie has regained most of his former powers under the latest regime. 

  More from Charles Sale. Charles Sale: FA hold hands up over Capello deal29/03/11 Charles Sale: Party will fall flat if FA stick to plan B 28/03/11 EXCLUSIVE: FA to welcome Blatter just months after World Cup snub 27/03/11 Charles Sale: Short memories over Blatter as FA roll out red carpet for FIFA president27/03/11 Charles Sale: Welsh FA attack 'arrogant' Italians over staging of Euro 2012 qualifier 25/03/11 Charles Sale: BOA join fight for GB football team24/03/11 Charles Sale: John Terry breaks with firefighter PR as he bids to clean up act on his own23/03/11 Fergie talks to BBC! Man United boss ready for a summit over interviews23/03/11 Charles Sale: Gill's club conflicts 'stymie FA board'22/03/11 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE   Explore more:People: Gerry Sutcliffe, Ben Bradshaw, Peter Storrie, Malcolm Clarke, Roberto Martinez

Source: Daily_Mail

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