Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Chilling report into Savile's abuse

A total of 450 people have made sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile
A total of 450 people have made sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile was "one of the UK's most prolific known sexual predators" who abused children as young as eight across six decades, a chilling report has concluded.

The TV presenter used his celebrity to "hide in plain sight" - but now has 214 criminal offences recorded against his name in 28 police forces, including 34 rapes.

Presenting the findings of the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC, detective superintendent David Gray said: "The sheer scale and the severity of his offending is appalling."

In a separate report, Britain's top prosecutor Keir Starmer admitted Savile could have been charged for offences against at least three victims before his death in 2011.

It emerged Savile sexually abused a dying teenager at a hospice, one of 14 medical sites he used to prey on his victims. His abuse spanned from 1955 to 2009, and included sexually touching a teenage girl at the final recording of Top of the Pops in 2006.

But the joint report stopped short of pinning any blame on other institutions that may have "missed past opportunities" to stop Savile.

A total of 450 people have come forward alleging sexual abuse against Savile since October - of whom 73 per cent were children at the time of the offences. Savile abused patients at Leeds General Infirmary, where he worked between 1965 and 1995, and committed offences at Stoke Mandeville Hospital between 1965 and 1988. He attacked children at children's home Duncroft School between 1970 and 1978 and also committed 14 offences at schools across the country, partly when children had written to him as part of Jim'll Fix It.

Commander Peter Spindler, leading the national investigation into Savile's abuse, said he hoped the report "gives some comfort to his hundreds of victims". "They have been listened to and taken seriously," he said.

Mr Starmer, director of public prosecutions, said Savile could have been prosecuted in 2009 had police taken victims more seriously. He said: "I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for the shortcomings in the part played by the CPS in these cases."

The BBC said it was "appalled" that Jimmy Savile preyed on victims on its premises and again apologised to those affected. The NSPCC's Peter Watt said Savile was one of the most prolific sex offenders the NSPCC has dealt with.

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