17-year-old at heart of BBC presenter row was clearly groomed and didn’t understand he was being exploited, insists man who also claims 15-year-old Shemima Begum knew exactly what she was doing

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A 55-year-old Basingstoke man has today insisted the 17-year-old at the heart of the BBC presenter row should not be listened to, because 17-year-olds are easily exploited, and he was clearly groomed, despite repeatedly insisting that 15-year-old Shamima Begum “should rot” because she knew exactly what she was doing when she was two years younger than him.

After reports emerged that lawyers representing the youngster had issued a statement denying that anything illegal happened and that they told The Sun precisely that before they went to print, many people are still keen to assume the BBC is covering up something awful.

Derek Williams, 55, told us, “We should not be swayed by the words of the young person who may have sold these photos. Definitely not.

“Just because he says he wasn’t exploited, and that nothing untoward or illegal happened, doesn’t mean he’s right. 17-year-olds know nothing of the real world, and I have no doubt he was completely exploited by one of the many sick perverts at the BBC. It is the obvious explanation.

“At 17, he should have been protected like the child he so clearly was. Not like that evil harridan Shemima Begum, who knew EXACTLY what she was doing at 15. Of course she knew who she was joining. Some 15-year-olds have a 30-year-old head on their shoulders, and she’s one of them.

“You might think my opinions on these two teenagers point to rampant hypocrisy, but you’re wrong. I am completely consistent. Shemima Begum voluntarily joined ISIS, which I hate, whereas this 17-year-old was exploited by someone at the BBC, which I also hate. That’s why I treat them completely differently.

“I am definitely right about this; shut up.”