Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Savile victims to seek compensation

There are now 214 criminal offences recorded against Jimmy Savile across 28 police forces, a report has said

Over 50 of Jimmy Savile's sex abuse victims will seek compensation from the BBC, the NHS, the disgraced TV presenter's estate and other organisations, their lawyer has said.

The full scale of the late DJ's 54-year campaign of abuse was revealed in a report on Friday which revealed that among Savile's victims were an eight-year-old boy and seriously ill children. Branded one of the UK's most prolific known sexual predators, Savile now has 214 criminal offences, spanning the breadth of the UK, recorded against his name - including 34 rapes.

The Department of Health (DoH) and BBC are among a number of organisations embroiled in the scandal and, alongside the late star's estate, could now face substantial payouts.

The DoH and BBC have launched internal investigations into how the entertainer slipped under the radar and was allowed to abuse on such an unprecedented scale. His crimes spanned from 1955 to 2009, covering his entire career at the BBC, and included sexually touching a teenage girl at the final recording of Top of the Pops in 2006.

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 also targeted residents at children's home Duncroft School between 1970 and 1978.

Savile's victims expressed shock and anger at the length of time it has taken to expose the DJ's predatory behaviour and that nobody attempted to put an end to the suffering. The lawyer representing over 50 of Savile victims, Liz Dux, said all of them would be pursuing civil claims for compensation.

A total of 450 people have come forward alleging sexual abuse against Savile since October, of whom 73% were children at the time of the offences.

Ms Dux said all her clients - the number of whom is rising - were suing Savile's estate and would also pursue claims against the organisations responsible for where the abuse took place. And she insisted they were not doing it for the money.

"All the victims that we are representing are wanting to pursue civil claims," Ms Dux said. "Compensation is the only thing we can really do for them but that is not their particular motivation for doing this. It is for getting their stories out there to get them believed and to prevent it from happening again. You don't do it for the money. All of them have claims against Savile's estate and in addition the BBC and various hospitals and so on where the abuse took place."

Ms Dux said the claims would be placed "on a moratorium" until the various inquiries into Savile's abuse had finished. The BBC said it is "appalled" that Savile preyed on victims on its premises and again apologised to those affected.

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