BRADFORD X Factor star Danny Tetley has been jailed for nine years for trading on his celebrity status to sexually abuse seven boys aged between 14 and 16.

Tetley, 39, was led to the cells at Bradford Crown Court today after hearing the city’s top judge say his depravity had “tarnished and destroyed” his TV singing career.

LIVE BLOG: Read the Danny Tetley sentencing hearing as it happened

Tetley, of St Enoch's Road, Wibsey, Bradford, pleaded guilty to seven charges of sexual exploitation of a child and two counts of distributing indecent images of children.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, told him: “Those in the public eye do not have a licence to abuse those who are mesmerised by them.

Danny Tetley: From Pop Idol to Benidorm - his years in spotlight

“Many will see you for what you are, a despicable creature with very few redeeming features.”

Tetley, in a grey round-necked sweatshirt and blue jeans, was labelled a dangerous predator by the judge who gave him an extended 17-year jail sentence, nine years behind bars and a further eight years on closely monitored licence.

The court heard he abused seven boys by paying them to send him naked photos and pictures in boxer shorts.

He sexualised the teenagers, two of whom were just 14, by handing out thousands of pounds for the images and sending them pornographic images of himself.


Tetley, who appeared on Pop Idol and made the X Factor live shows in 2018, coming in sixth place, had “gained some degree of fame,” prosecutor Michael Smith said.

He had worked as a singer in Benidorm and appeared regularly on national television.

The boys were impressed by Tetley’s celebrity status and he traded on that to groom and sexualise them.

He mentioned girls and a Range Rover to draw one of them in, saying he was a person with influence in the celebrity world.

Tetley offered £500 for “a dick pic” and told the youngster: “You can have more, you know that.”

Tetley met one victim at an X Factor promotional event, while another boy’s mother was a fan of the show.

He chatted to the youngsters on Facebook before switching to Snapchat and WhatsApp to abuse them.

Tetley offered up to £1,000 for pictures, saying: “The more you show, the better the price.”

He bragged about his fame, telling one boy his agent “did Emmerdale and Corrie mainly.”

Most of the teenagers saw sending the images as a commercial arrangement and all were heterosexual. But two boys filmed themselves performing sex acts on one another to make more money out of Tetley.

Mr Smith said: “His fame, his notoriety, was part of the grooming process. People were in thrall of him and had an affection for him.”

Some boys were “inspired and incited” to send Tetley more explicit images for more money.

One victim was abused when Tetley was competing in the X Factor and his “notoriety was at its highest,” Mr Smith said. The boy was a fan and Tetley sent him videos of the cast before offering to pay him up to £1,000 for indecent images.

Tetley’s barrister, Andrew Dallas, said he had no previous convictions.

He was born with a serious cleft lip and palate and underwent 14 operations when he was a child, with bone grafts and a full rebuilding of his palate. He was bullied because of his facial disability and his sexual orientation.

Tetley left school at 15 with no qualifications, coming out as gay three years later.

“He discovered he had one talent and that is that he could sing,” Mr Dallas said.

Tetley made a living performing at working men’s clubs and he appeared on Pop Idol.

“That was a whiff of the enticing aroma of the show business and celebrity world,” Mr Dallas said.

When he was 22, Tetley’s close friend was murdered and he began taking the cocaine that became “the bane of his life.”

He became a chronic drug user and continued singing in bars and clubs after an eight-year relationship ended when he was 30.

Four years ago, Tetley suffered a heart attack and sought help for his addiction. He went abroad to try to break his cocaine habit, but it was “out of the frying pan into the fire.”

In 2018, Tetley progressed on to the X Factor and became better known.

“He blames his elimination from that talent competition on his drug use, that had become known” Mr Dallas said.

He added: “There was no pastoral assistance to be offered.

“It was a downward spiral and the end of his TV career.”

In May last year, a man Tetley believed was a friend sold a covert video of him taking cocaine to a tabloid newspaper.

Tetley made a suicide attempt in Spain shortly before he was arrested for the sexual allegations.

“He was effectively alone in a very public world, emotionally vulnerable, being given money for his singing, all of which is gone.

“By the time he was locked up he was penniless. It was easy come, easy go,” Mr Dallas said.

Tetley had used his talent to do a lot of charity work.

“There is a very positive and useful side to him,” Mr Dallas told the court.

“All his offending is the murky world of indirect contact,” he continued.

“He was causing and inciting these children and young people to engage in sexual activity for his own remote sexual gratification. There are no contact offences here.”

Tetley was remanded to Leeds Prison after breaching his bail conditions by contacting one of his victims and asking him to delete text messages.

Since then, he was “transformed,” Mr Dallas said. He was off drugs and alcohol and demonstrating real shame, remorse and empathy for his victims.

“His head was turned by drink and drugs and fame and money in his hand which he otherwise could not have had,” he continued.

Judge Durham Hall told Tetley: “The extent of your depravity and number of child victims has tarnished and destroyed your celebrity status. Such fame as you had has ended in disgrace.”

Tetley had traded on his status for his perverted sexual needs, corrupting his young victims, who were mesmerised by him.

Judge Durham Hall labelled Tetley “predatory and highly manipulative.” He posed a high risk of serious harm to young male children.

He abused his victims online at night while under the influence of drink and drugs.

“It was corruption reinforced by fame,” Judge Durham Hall said: “Blatant, disgusting and unbelievable.”

He said of the victims: “Some of them put pressure on you to keep the money flowing but you started this, you caused it, you are the culprit, not them.”

The judge made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Commending detectives from Bradford District’s Abusive Images Team (known as the Police Online Investigation Team) he said: “A predator has been rooted out of our society.”

Speaking after the hearing, Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Ian Cottrell, said: “I would like to thank the victims for engaging with our officers to report Tetley’s crimes and I hope this outcome will give them some comfort.

“Tetley claimed he had been set up and that people were out to get him because he was famous, but our investigation was able to prove that he was actively grooming children through social media.”