A FORMER BBC reporter appeared in court yesterday facing charges of indecent assault against boys under the age of 14.

Clifford Luton, aged 88, arrived at Bournemouth Magistrates Court in a wheelchair yesterday morning to hear the charges against him, which date back to the 1970s and ’80s.

The 88-year-old was also charged with 29 counts of possessing an indecent image of a child, including photographs in the most serious category.

Luton, from Ashley Road in Parkstone, did not enter a plea to any of the charges.

The prosecution told the court: “This is a case which both the Crown and defence agree should be under the jurisdiction of the Crown Court.”

Luton worked for the BBC in the 1960s and ’70s reporting on major issues for the time, including the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Cod Wars with Iceland, the attempted kidnapping of Princess Anne, and the Lebanese Civil War.

In 1967 he chartered a plane to search for round-the-world sailor Francis Chichester, who had gone missing in a storm around Cape Horn.

He also worked for the Daily Mail, for whom he interviewed infamous historian David Irving in the 1950s.

Magistrates agreed to commit the case to Crown Court for May 21.

Luton was released on bail under condition that he has no contact with children aged under-18, |with a small number of named exceptions under supervision.