Victims who went to the authorities with details and allegations about the Leeds-born DJ before he was publicly exposed as a sex offender in 2012 may have a case against police for dismissing their claims.
More than 100 rape victims could be awarded compensation from Scotland Yard over its flawed investigation. At least seven victims made allegations to different police forces while he was alive and none of them led to him being prosecuted at the time.
Savile first came to the attention of authorities in 2007 when Surrey police started an investigation after an allegation he had abused a teenage girl at the Duncroft children’s home in the 1970s. In the investigation that followed two more allegations emerged, that of another assault on a 14-year-old at outside Stoke Mandeville hospital and a proposition for oral sex at Duncroft on another girl.
In March 2008 Sussex police received a further complaint that he had sexually assaulted a woman in a caravan. Surrey police spoke to the Crown Prosecution Service at the time who decided not to prosecute. A later review of that decision by Alison Levitt QC found that a chance to convict Savile had been missed because police and prosecutors did not take victims’ claims seriously enough.
A report by policing watchdog HMIC identified 11 failures by Surrey police to effectively investigate the presenter, including allowing him to choose where and when to be questioned. Since then, hundreds of victims have come forward revealing a pattern of abuse spanning decades.
In October, a transcript of a 56-minute interview of Savile carried out by Surrey Police in 2009, two years before he died, the 83-year-old said accusations from three of his teenage victims were the ‘complete fantasy’ of people ‘looking for a few quid’. Savile even said he ‘owned’ the NHS hospital at Stoke Mandeville and said he brushed off girls ‘like midges’.
Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile, which was shown on ITV in October 2012, ultimately led to a joint review by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC into allegations that the television presenter abused women, girls and boys.
Victims are being urged to make claims against Jimmy Savile’s estate within the next six weeks. A scheme to facilitate the handling of claims by victims of alleged sexual abuse was created by the High Court earlier this year with the intention of paying compensation in 2015.
Around £3.3m is being held by NatWest bank as executor on behalf of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust. Any late claims could hamper the efficient administration of the scheme warning that if notice is not given before distribution of the estate, all rights to recover from the estate will be lost.
By the time of the High Court hearing in February, 139 people had intimated to the bank that they had personal injury claims against Savile and his estate, with some indicating they had claims against other organisations with which Savile was associated: the BBC, certain NHS hospital trusts and the charities Barnardo’s and Mind. Mr Justice Sales noted a ‘serious possibility’ that if some of the claims proved to be well-founded they would exhaust the money remaining in the estate.