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Jail for Hollywood film-maker

WWW- A FORMER Hollywood assistant film director who fled abroad midway through his trial on child sex charges last year has been jailed for seven and a half years for his “truly depraved” crimes.

David Anderson, 65, who worked on blockbusters including From Russia with Love and The Deer Hunter, was told by a judge that he had tried ruthlessly to exploit his two young victims.

During his trial last September a jury was told that Anderson filmed himself performing sex acts with young drug addicts at his flat in Gloucester.

Anderson fled the city during the lunch break on the third day of his trial and did not return. The case continued in his absence and the jury convicted him of 11 offences of indecent assault and gross indecency with the girls.

Two months ago police tracked him down to Ireland and he was extradited. At the hearing at Gloucester Crown Court it emerged that Anderson had made his plans to flee Britain before his trial began. When captured, he was about to continue his life on the run by travelling to Cherbourg and then to Cyprus, Robert Davies, for the prosecution, said.

While a fugitive, Anderson sent packages of letters to a trusted friend in Britain, asking him to forward them to other people, Mr Davies said.

One was addressed to the News of the World and offered the paper the rights to his “exclusive story” for £10,000. But the friend handed the packages to the police.

Sentencing Anderson, Judge Jamie Tabor, QC, made a lifetime sexual offences prevention order against him and ordered that he should be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life. He told Anderson that the sentence would mean his being held in prison until he was 70.

“You are a man of previous good character and a film director of some repute,” the judge said. “But you met exceptionally vulnerable people and exploited them. One was aged 13 or 14 and quite plainly a drug addict and the other was mentally unwell.

“You acted in a truly depraved way and one of the great worries in this case is that you do not appear to accept the harm you have done, or that the way you have behaved is simply unacceptable.”

Anderson’s crimes had come to light when a camcorder tape stolen from his home was found by a member of the public who viewed it and saw Anderson romping naked with two teenage prostitutes.

On the film he could be heard asking them to procure him a much younger girl.

The film was handed to the police, who identified nine girls and Anderson. They arrested Anderson and raided his flat, where other films were found.

Anderson split from his wife Caroline four years ago. She said, on being interviewed, that when Anderson was asked by police about the sexual side of his filming, he said that it was with a view to making a porn movie.

“It is a huge market, especially in places like Japan,” he said. “It is an enormous money market. The more explicit sex in a movie, the more money you make.”

Edward Burgess, for the defence, said: “For a man who has enjoyed the sort of successes he has in the past in the Hollywood film industry, to be in this position towards the end of his life is catastrophic.”

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