BBC cleared of coverup in Savile case, But a report faults the British broadcaster’s decision to drop a news investigation
December 25, 2012 Comments Off on BBC cleared of coverup in Savile case, But a report faults the British broadcaster’s decision to drop a news investigation
BBC cleared of coverup in Jimmy Savile case
But a report faults the British broadcaster’s decision to drop a news investigation of pedophilia allegations against the late TV host, as well as ensuing ineptitude.
December 19, 2012 By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
LONDON — The BBC did not deliberately cover up sex abuse allegations against one of its most famous hosts in order to go ahead with tribute shows to him after his death, but its decision to drop a news investigation into the accusations was “seriously flawed,” a highly anticipated report released Wednesday says….
Pollard, a prominent former television news executive, was commissioned by the BBC to conduct an independent inquiry into why the corporation chose to kill an investigation of Savile by its program “Newsnight” that was on track to be aired in late 2011.
Savile, an eccentric figure who wore tracksuits and long hair, had died a few months earlier after many years as a children’s television host at the BBC. Other divisions of the broadcasting corporation were planning lavish holiday tributes to him.
Those tributes went ahead, and the “Newsnight” program was shelved. But this year, a rival network broadcast its own investigation of Savile, who is now suspected by police of having been a predatory pedophile responsible for molesting or raping dozens of young girls, some of them on BBC premises.
Pollard’s report, based on interviews and a review of more than 10,000 emails and other documents, concludes that there had not been any undue pressure from senior management to pull the “Newsnight” investigation in order to protect the BBC’s reputation or to continue with the tribute shows. “Newsnight” editor Peter Rippon made an honest but wrong assessment that the evidence in the investigation was not strong enough, the report says.
“The ‘Newsnight’ investigators got the story right,” Pollard said. “The decision by their editor to drop the investigation was clearly flawed and the way it was taken was wrong, but I believe it was done in good faith. It was not done to protect the Savile tribute programs.”
However, once the accusations surfaced on rival network ITV and questions began to be raised about the aborted “Newsnight” program, the BBC responded with breathtaking incompetence, the report says in a particularly damning finding.
The Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal breaks
28 September: the scandal of Jimmy Savile’s child abuse allegations goes public – and the BBC investigates itself
Shelley Jofre, Panorama reporter
The Observer, Saturday 22 December 2012
When the story broke that Exposure was going to be doing a story on Jimmy Savile, and that Newsnight had somehow suppressed it, I suggested to my editor, Tom Giles, that we should do something about it. Like any journalist I just wanted to know what on earth had gone on.
The story was moving so quickly we made the film in a week – it normally takes a month. We were unravelling the whole thing on the hoof and managed to gather a huge amount of information about what happened with Savile at the BBC over four decades. From the testimonies, some of the stories seem jawdropping. Our archive producer did an amazing job of unearthing powerful footage of Savile so we saw how overtly sexual he was, groping and leering at women on the programmes we all watched as children.
The most poignant was the group of cub scouts who appeared on Jim’ll Fix It. The archive producer located footage of the boy I interviewed anonymously as a grown man. You could see the joy and happiness on his face as a nine-year-old during what should have been one of the biggest moments of his childhood, then he was molested shortly afterwards in Savile’s dressing room. He was so ashamed he didn’t tell anyone for 40 years….
December 21, 2012 Comments Off on School abuse victim $23m damages, Savile 450 alleged victims, Epigenetics and Stress
School abuse victim wins $23 million in damages
By Melissa Pamer, NBCLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES — A former student in Los Angeles was awarded $23 million in damages Tuesday for sexual abuse he endured at the hands of his elementary school teacher.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than five hours before finding in favor of the teen.
The lawsuit, filed on his behalf in October 2009, concerned abuse by Forrest Stobbe, the boy’s fifth-grade teacher at Queen Anne Elementary School in the Mid-Wilshire area.
Stobbe was sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading no contest to criminal charges in the case in 2011. He had been arrested in 2010, when he was 39….
Stobbe abused the boy 10 to 15 times in the classroom during the 2008-9 school years, and another five times during the summer of 2009, according to Estey.
Jimmy Savile abuse: Number of alleged victims reaches 450 12 December 2012
Police have confirmed that the number of alleged sex abuse victims of the late Jimmy Savile has reached 450.
The Operation Yewtree team said 589 alleged victims have come forward during their investigation of offences committed by Savile and others.
Of the alleged victims, 82% were female and 80% were children or young people.
Meanwhile, police have set up Operation Fairbank to investigate allegations by Labour MP Tom Watson of a paedophile ring in high places.
Mr Watson said in October that police should investigate claims of a “powerful paedophile ring” linked to a previous prime minister’s “senior adviser” and Parliament.
‘Exploited his position’
Savile, who died last year aged 84, was a Radio 1 DJ and the presenter of the Jim’ll Fix It show on BBC One.
Operation Yewtree, which launched 10 weeks ago, has a team of 30 officers and has so far cost about £2m.
Police said on Wednesday they have recorded 199 alleged crimes in 17 police force areas against Savile.
They said they had recorded 31 allegations of rape against Savile in seven force areas.
Met Police Commander Peter Spindler, head of Operation Yewtree, said: “Savile’s offending peaked in the 70s and what we can show, or will be showing in the New Year, is how he used his position in society across the country – the crimes relate to 17 different police force areas – how he exploited this position to get his sexual gratification.”
BBC home affairs correspondent Matt Prodger says the level of allegations against Savile – 450 in total – is unprecedented – never before have police received that number of allegations against a single person.
Our correspondent says he believes the police have a total of 20 suspects whom they wish to interview. They have interviewed seven people in total – six of whom were arrested.
Police are looking at three strands within their inquiry – claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others only….
‘I’m staying put’: Esther Rantzen claims she will remain child abuse charity patron after claims she ignored warnings over Jimmy Savile
Rantzen is a patron of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood
Child abuse campaigner Shy Keenan says she warned Rantzen about paedophile rumours but Rantzen strenuously denies this
Television presenter faces accusations that she failed to act on information
ChildLine founder says she cannot remember the incident and denies that Jimmy Savile’s name was ever mentioned
Department of Health launches inquiry about why Savile was appointed to ‘taskforce’ overseeing management of Broadmoor hospital
Rantzen said today she would remain as patron of child abuse charity, despite founder claiming trustees would discuss if she was still appropriate
By Anna Edwards, Alex Ward and Larisa Brown
15 October 2012
Esther Rantzen has strenuously denied rumours she is facing the sack as patron of a child abuse charity after she failed to act on allegations that Jimmy Savile molested youngsters….
Jimmy Savile abuse allegations: Timeline
2 November 2012 Allegations of sexual abuse by Sir Jimmy Savile continue to emerge after ITV broadcasts an investigation on 3 October. This timeline charts the presenter’s rise to fame, the claims against him and subsequent action by police and broadcasters.
Genes and Immune System Shaped by Childhood Poverty, Stress
Oct. 18, 2012 — A University of British Columbia and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) study has revealed that childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person’s genes. And, that this imprint could play a role in our immune response.
The study was published last week in a special volume of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looks at how experiences beginning before birth and in the years after can affect the course of a person’s life.
Known as epigenetics, or the study of changes in gene expression, this research examined a process called DNA methylation where a chemical molecule is added to DNA and acts like a dimmer on a light bulb switch, turning genes on or off or setting them somewhere in between. Research has shown that a person’s life experiences play a role in shaping DNA methylation patterns.
The research team discovered that childhood poverty, but not socioeconomic status as an adult, was correlated with the marks or methylation patterns left on genes.
“We found biological residue of early life poverty,” said Michael Kobor, an associate professor of medical genetics at UBC, whose CMMT lab at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) led the research. “This was based on clear evidence that environmental influences correlate with epigenetic patterns.”….
L. L. Lam, E. Emberly, H. B. Fraser, S. M. Neumann, E. Chen, G. E. Miller, M. S. Kobor. Factors underlying variable DNA methylation in a human community cohort. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; 109 (Supplement_2): 17253 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1121249109
November 24, 2012 Comments Off on Jimmy Savile scandal: George Entwistle to give evidence at Newsnight inquiry
Jimmy Savile scandal: George Entwistle to give evidence at Newsnight inquiry
Ex-director general to appear before Nick Pollard inquiry into handling of programme’s aborted investigation of presenter
Dan Sabbagh guardian.co.uk, Thursday 22 November 2012
George Entwistle, the former BBC director general, is expected to give evidence on Monday before Nick Pollard’s inquiry into the handling of Newsnight’s aborted investigation into sexual abuse by the late Jimmy Savile, in a demanding hearing that will see him grilled on what he knew about it by a silk.
The much criticised executive spent the last days of his short-lived director generalship preparing intensively for his appearance, which is expected to last several hours, and comes as the Pollard inquiry moves into its third week of evidence, having seen most of the senior BBC executives touched by the Savile film that never aired.
It is likely to be an exacting experience for a man who clearly struggled when he had to give evidence before MPs on on the culture media and sport select committee last month, and who performed poorly when interviewed by John Humphrys on the Today programme on the morning of what turned out to be the day he resigned….
However, he is likely to come under greater pressure over his handling of the Newsnight affair in the couple of months after the Savile allegations were first aired by ITV, and in particular will be questioned on why he relied for so long on the account of events provided by Newsnight’s editor Peter Rippon, an account that had to be corrected at least three times. For instance, Rippon wrongly said that the police were aware of all Newsnight’s unbroadcast material, when in fact one of the abuse victims filmed by the programme had never gone to the police….
November 12, 2012 Comments Off on Ex-BBC producer arrested over Jimmy Savile abuse claims, BBC’s Entwistle resigns
Ex-BBC producer arrested over Jimmy Savile abuse claims
11 November 2012
A former BBC producer has been arrested in connection with the inquiry into abuse claims made against Jimmy Savile.
Wilfred De’Ath, who is in his 70s, was held in Cambridgeshire at 07:15 GMT.
A Met Police spokesman did not confirm his name but said a man was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences and taken into police custody locally, before being bailed until December.
He added the man was held as part of the Operation Yewtree probe into claims Savile sexually abused young people.
Police believe the former BBC TV presenter and DJ, who died last year aged 84, may have abused as many as 300 people over a 40-year period.
Mr De’Ath once produced a Jimmy Savile radio show. Neighbours at his flat in Cambridge said detectives removed bags from the property.
A number of individuals are being investigated as part of the operation. These include people who allegedly carried out abuse with Savile as well as others who are suspected of abusing independently of Savile….
Developments in Britain’s child sex-abuse scandal involving Jimmy Savile, BBC
By Associated Press 11/12/12
LONDON — The BBC’s top executive, George Entwistle, resigned Saturday night amid a flood of controversy over the broadcaster’s handling of child sex-abuse cases.
His resignation caps a difficult month for the broadcaster, which first came under fire for not airing allegations of child sex abuse committed by one of its star hosts, the late Jimmy Savile. Just weeks later, the BBC’s prestigious investigative program, “Newsnight,” wrongly implicated a British politician in a child sex-abuse scandal.
It was the same program that had earlier shelved a report into Savile….
November 8, 2012 Comments Off on New children’s home sex abuse probe
New children’s home sex abuse probe
Nov 6 2012
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is to mount an investigation into fresh allegations of abuse in children’s homes in North Wales amid claims that a senior Tory was among the perpetrators.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the director general of the NCA Keith Bristow would review the original police handling of the case – which dates back to the 1970s and 1980s – as well as looking at the latest allegations by one of the victims.
“The Government is treating these allegations with the utmost seriousness,” she told MPs in a Commons statement. “Child abuse is a hateful, abhorrent and disgusting crime and we must not allow these allegations to go unanswered.”
Mrs May said she would also consider Labour calls for a wider, over-arching inquiry into child abuse – including the allegations involving the late DJ and BBC presenter Jimmy Savile – if the evidence was shown to justify it.
Labour backbencher Tom Watson, who has raised claims of a past paedophile ring linked to No 10 and of a former Cabinet minister allegedly involved in child abuse, dismissed the latest moves as simply “the next stage of a cover-up”.
The announcement comes after David Cameron said he would be appointing a senior figure to review the original public inquiry into abuse at the Bryn Estyn children’s home led by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, a retired high court judge.
The investigations followed renewed allegations last week by one of the victims, Steve Messham, who said the inquiry examined only a fraction of the claims of abuse. He told BBC2’s Newsnight that he was taken out of the home and “sold” to men for sexual abuse at a nearby hotel and that a senior Tory from the time was among the perpetrators….
November 7, 2012 Comments Off on JANET STREET PORTER: Your tragic Savile letters show this isn’t just hysteria
JANET STREET PORTER: Your tragic Savile letters show this isn’t just hysteria
By Janet Street Porter
5 November 2012
The BBC has decided not to broadcast repeats of Top Of The Pops hosted by Jimmy Savile, as if belatedly culling the evil court jester from our screens constitutes an act of cultural cleansing.
Since I discussed the scandal on Question Time on October 4, the day after ITV broadcast their shocking documentary, I have received a huge number of emails and letters.
Every day brings more revelations — involving hospitals, prisons and places where vulnerable people thought they were safe….
Stories of abuse going back half a century are being told for the very first time, and there are calls for previous investigations into abuse at children’s homes in Wales and in Jersey to be re-opened.
The initial exposure of Savile has uncovered abuse that seems to have permeated every aspect of society, unacceptable behaviour that those in authority accepted for decades. Only last week, Rick Parfitt of Status Quo blithely told a female journalist ‘everybody was at it’ at Top Of The Pops ‘…there was a lot of groping’.
Yesterday, a newspaper asserted that the unit investigating sexual misconduct at the Corporation has received complaints involving 29 BBC staff and presenters.
Let’s be clear, the media are not pursuing a witch hunt against the BBC (as Jonathan Dimbleby asserts), but responding to the righteous indignation of the mistreated, ordinary men and women who were never believed up to now.
When I said on television that my hairdresser touched me inappropriately when I was about ten or 12, and my mother just slapped me and called me a liar, loads of you recounted similar stories.
They describe being abused as teenagers, never able to tell their stories, or if they did, they were routinely disbelieved. One man kept quiet about being abused by a group of older boys at school until he was in his 60s, and then had a breakdown.
Men and women have written to me who worked in television make-up and costume departments when they were young, who endured routine molesting from big stars with fragile egos as part of the job. This isn’t mass hysteria — we are at the start of a healing process, and the tragedy is that many of the perpetrators are dead.
BBC warned it could face a full public inquiry, as Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal rumbles on, Child Abuse and the British Public
November 5, 2012 Comments Off on BBC warned it could face a full public inquiry, as Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal rumbles on, Child Abuse and the British Public
BBC warned it could face a full public inquiry, as Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal rumbles on
Monday 5 November 2012
THE BBC could face a full public inquiry into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal if its own investigations fail to “get to the bottom” of the accusations, Culture Secretary Maria Miller has warned.
The BBC has launched an inquiry into the culture and practices at the corporation in the era of the late TV and radio presenter’s alleged sexual abuse. It is also investigating the decision-making process that saw a Newsnight investigation into the Jim’ll Fix It star’s activities shelved.
Speaking about the double investigation, Mrs Miller said: “The real challenge for the BBC is to make sure that the outcome of these reviews really gets to the bottom of these accusations.
“If the investigations are considered not to suffice because of issues around transparency, process or other such things, then a public inquiry remains an option.”….
Andrew O’Hagan writes about child abuse and the British public
London Review of Books Vol. 34 No. 21 · 8 November 2012 pages 5-8 | 7344 words
On 23 May 1949, Lionel Gamlin, producer of the Light Programme’s Hello Children, wrote to Enid Blyton to ask whether she would be willing to be interviewed about the best holiday she could remember. ‘Dear Mr Gamlin,’ Blyton wrote the next day. ‘Thank you for your nice letter. It all sounds very interesting but I ought to warn you of something you obviously don’t know, but which has been well known in the literary and publishing world for some time – I and my stories are completely banned by the BBC as far as children are concerned.’….
In the issue of Lilliput magazine for May 1943 Gamlin wrote an essay called ‘Why I Hate Boys’, which is signed ‘A School-Master’. It was a developing theme, boys, children, whatever, and in 1946 Methuen published a book written by Gamlin and Anthony Gilbert called Don’t Be Afreud! A Short Guide to Youth Control (The Book of the Weak). The book is just about as funny as it wants to be, with author photographs (‘aged 7 and 8 approx’) and a caption: ‘The authors on their way to the Psychoanalyst’. Gamlin, in common with later youthquakers such as Jimmy Savile, never liked children, never had any, never wanted any, and on the whole couldn’t bear them, except on occasion to fuck. And, again like Savile, Gamlin managed all this quite brilliantly, hiding in plain sight as a youth presenter full of good sport but who didn’t really care for youth and all its pieties. This was in the days before ‘victims’ – days that our present media and their audiences find unimaginable – but it gives context and background to the idea of an eccentric presenter as a teasing anti-hero within the Corporation. Auntie was essentially being joshed by a child abuser posing as a child abuser. ‘Before we examine the second stage of the malignant disease of Youth with a capital Y (sometimes conveniently glossed over by the mystic term “adolescence”),’….
A friend of Gamlin’s remembers going to see him in a flat in All Souls Place in the 1950s, just round the corner from Broadcasting House. A man from Light Entertainment used the flat during the working week and Gamlin often stayed there with young boys. It was clear to the friend that both men were renting the boys, and that the boys were young: ‘They were boys with the kind of good looks that would seem very lewd in a woman.’ He also remembers going for a coffee with one of the boys from the flat. ‘The boy was nice,’ he said, ‘very young. He thought he might get a job or something of that sort. And it was clear the men were using him for sex. Broadcasting House was well stocked with men interested in sleeping with young boys. It was a milieu back then. And people who sought to be sexual predators knew that. It wasn’t spoken about.’….
Day by day over the past month details have emerged about the shelving of the Newsnight investigation into Savile. Girls from Duncroft children’s home had given evidence: some of them were 14 when Savile began coercing them into giving him blow-jobs. They felt it would be ‘an honour’ to be in the company of someone so famous. He promised them visits to the BBC studios….
The Newsnight programme was well sourced and strong, but it clashed – in the old-fashioned, scheduling sense – with two tributes to Savile the BBC had planned. The investigations will continue, but the bigger story is missing from all the discussions around Savile, the bigger story being the milieu that existed not only at the BBC but in the light entertainment firmament.
November 3, 2012 Comments Off on Jim fixed nothing: Growing up in 1970s England with Jimmy Savile
Top of The Pops producers who first signed up Jimmy Savile in the 1960s thought he was ‘dodgy’ because of his background on the club scene in Leeds
Savile’s background sparked initial concerns among the show’s bosses
It is claimed he was thought of as ‘dodgy’ and ‘you didn’t cross him’
But despite that the BBC hired him and he went on to be a regular Top of the Pops presenter for 20 years
The Corporation now embroiled in a sex scandal after scores of women claim they were abused by the DJ
By Leon Watson 2 November 2012
The BBC producers who first signed up Jimmy Savile to present Top of the Pops had doubts over whether he was suitable and thought he was ‘dodgy’, it was claimed last night.
Savile’s background as a club DJ and manager sparked initial concerns among the show’s bosses in the early 1960s before the allegations of sex abuse that have now engulfed the BBC emerged.
Paul Jackson, the producer of hits shows Red Dwarf and The Young Ones, and a former head entertainment at both the BBC and ITV, said BBC entertainment producers initially rejected Savile….
Jimmy Savile was an emperor with no clothes – and a celebrity cloak
Savile’s invisible but dazzling cloak of fame stopped everyone from suggesting he was exactly the scary, child-catching creature he seemed to be
Deborah Orr The Guardian, Friday 2 November 2012
It’s part of the grooming process to persuade the victim it’s wrong to think badly of the abuser. In that respect, Jimmy Savile groomed the nation. Children rarely said the emperor was naked – sometimes all too literally. But even when one did, the cry was never taken up. Adults also kept their suspicions quiet, even when they were strong. It seemed wrong to think badly of Savile, though many secretly did.
It’s telling, this collective failure to point at Savile and suggest he was just the scary, child-catching creature of nightmare he appeared to be. People tend to believe what’s easier to bear. Sadly it’s easier for a child to bear the idea that they deserve abuse than it is for them to believe the adult world does not protect the innocent….
Jim fixed nothing: Growing up in 1970s England with Jimmy Savile
Magical figure now accused of widespread abuse
Chris Jones Theater critic November 4, 2012
….There have been so many claims made against him — many of which entail stories of abuse involving girls, barely in their teens — that Savile’s estate was frozen Thursday by bankers who have realized that they will likely need to pay compensation. If Savile’s knighthood had not officially died with him in 2011, that would likely be gone too. His name has been stripped from buildings. An honorary degree has been rescinded. Even his gravestone has been broken up and sent to a landfill.
As with the Jerry Sandusky affair at Penn State University — with which the Savile affair has many horrible similarities — there has been a great deal of fallout from what appears to have been a multi-decade sequence of abuse by a TV star, cloaked in philanthropic good works, who had his own keys allowing him access to children’s hospitals and so much power that nobody dared take him on. There is the question of why his bosses and colleagues at the BBC, many of whose careers are now besmirched, did not confront him, given the repeated rumors of his attraction to young girls. As at Penn State, Savile’s bosses did nothing for, it seems, much the same reasons: It would be messy; it wasn’t entirely clear, if you didn’t want it to be; it might upset bigger bosses; and the brand of the organization (both, strikingly, are nonprofits) would be hurt by the finding out of the truth.
If the Sandusky affair revealed much that was disturbing about the culture of college sports, the Savile affair has done the same for the British media, especially in those tightly controlled pre-Internet days, when personal brands were carefully protected, bad behavior was laughed off as good showbiz fun and outside reporters could easily be manipulated or purchased. Savile, it now is clear, was a master of such manipulations, maintaining distinct private and public personas with formidable care. So potent was his brand and so associated was it with the unassailable, he just had to dangle a few threats about charities and money he raises for children, and the nosy reporter would look elsewhere for those rumors about underage girls. Ordinary pop stars didn’t raise all that cash for kids. Easier to bring them down.
Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting, Sugar Ray Leonard : I was child sex abuse victim
October 30, 2012 Comments Off on Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting, Sugar Ray Leonard : I was child sex abuse victim
– Jimmy Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting
– Jimmy Savile: Children in Need had ban – Sir Roger Jones
– Jimmy Savile: the BBC emails
– Jimmy Savile: Agencies could have spotted ‘pattern of behaviour’ police chief admits
– Sugar Ray Leonard: I was child sex abuse victim
Jimmy Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting
During a meeting with Jimmy Savile, a Radio 1 researcher says the late DJ boasted that he’d “had three 14-year-old girls” in his trailer that morning.
12 Oct 2012
Richard Pearson was a 21-year-old working at Radio 1 and meeting with a senior producer in BBC Broadcasting House’s restaurant when he says Jimmy Savile joined them and claimed “not particularly quietly” that he’d just “had” three underage girls in his trailer.
“And when he said ‘had’ he didn’t mean they’d come to criticised his curtains, he meant he’d had sex with them.” Mr Pearson said.
He went onto claim that Savile openly said having sex with the girls “kept him young”.
29 October 2012
Jimmy Savile: Children in Need had ban – Sir Roger Jones
A former BBC governor for Wales and Children in Need chairman says he had suspicions about Jimmy Savile more than a decade ago and would not allow him any involvement with the charity.
Sir Roger Jones heard of rumours from London staff, and the charity decided not to allow Savile “anywhere near” it.
He said he did not tell management because he did not have evidence Savile abused children while a BBC employee.
Police believe Savile may have abused as many as 300 people over 40 years.
Sir Roger’s comments come on the day the investigation into the BBC’s child protection and whistle-blowing policies begins.
He was a member of the board of governors between 1997 and 2002, and said he would have stepped down from his Children in Need role if Savile had become involved with the charity….
Jimmy Savile: Agencies could have spotted ‘pattern of behaviour’ police chief admits
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has admitted to being shocked by the scale and extent of the Jimmy Savile allegations.
By Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent
29 Oct 2012
Bernard Hogan-Howe also suggested more could have been done when complaints were originally made to spot patterns of behaviour that could have led to the entertainer being stopped.
The Commissioner said it was possible that the authorities including the police and the BBC had relied too much on Savile’s reputation when considering whether to dig deeper.
Mr Hogan-Howe told reporters: “You might have thought that people would at least have talked about it and intervened.
“It does look as if from time to time people have been concerned, they’ve made the start to intervene, but probably then they’ve relied a little bit too much on his reputation and his word that he did nothing.
“If you accept all the public accounts of the activity then it’s possibly spanned 50 years which is a huge amount of time….
Four police forces were contacted by seven potential victims while Savile was alive. Surrey, Sussex and Jersey all found that there was not enough evidence to proceed.
Two potential victims came forward to Scotland Yard – one of whom claimed she had been abused in the 1970s but did not want to pursue a criminal investigation.
Officers are trying to find the original file relating to a second claim made by a woman who claimed she was assaulted in the 1980s, possibly in a caravan outside BBC premises in west London….
So far around 300 potential victims have been identified, with Met officers following more than 400 lines of inquiry.
Meanwhile it has emerged that the Savile scandal has led to a surge in the number of people reporting child sex abuse allegations to the authorities.
Peter Davies, the chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), said the exposure had encouraged victims unconnected to Savile to come forward and unburden themselves….
Jimmy Savile: the BBC emails
Emails between senior members of BBC staff give insight into whether the corporation scrapped its Jimmy Savile Newsnight investigation after coming “under pressure” from managers.
22 Oct 2012
…. 2 DEC Head of news Helen Boaden tells George Entwistle at an awards lunch that if the Newsnight programme goes ahead he might have to change the Christmas schedules, which include a handful of Savile tribute programmes.
7 DEC Email, Meirion Jones to Peter Rippon. He insists “the story is strong enough” and the danger of not running it is “substantial damage to BBC reputation”.
9 DEC The Crown Prosecution Service tells Newsnight it did not investigate Savile because of lack of evidence. Rippon axes Newsnight item on Savile.
2 OCT 2012 Blog, Peter Rippon, BBC News website. Mr Rippon says on his blog that all the women spoken to by Newsnight had gone to the police already and that no new information had been uncovered by the investigation. Both points are denied by Meirion Jones in the Panorama programme.
5 OCT 2012 Email, George Entwistle to all BBC staff: “The BBC Newsnight programme investigated Surrey Police’s inquiry into Jimmy Savile towards the end of 2011.”
5 OCT Email, Meirion Jones to George Entwistle: “George – one note – the investigation was into whether Jimmy Savile was a paedophile – I know because it was my investigation. We didn’t know that Surrey police had investigated Jimmy Savile – no one did – that was what we found when we investigated and interviewed his victims.”
Sugar Ray Leonard: I was child sex abuse victim Reuters October 29, 2012
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard recounted his own sexual abuse by coaches he trusted, telling a Penn State audience Monday he hoped to encourage other victims to report abuse to police.
Leonard spoke at a sold-out conference on child sex abuse hosted by Penn State weeks after former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to prison for 30 to 60 years for sexually assaulting 10 boys he befriended through his charity for at-risk youth.
Leonard, 56, who retired after winning world boxing titles in five different weight classes, said as a youth he was sexually assaulted by men he trusted as his boxing coaches.
“Trust is a very sacred thing, especially for young people, kids, or a young boxer, so I trusted these people, these individuals who impacted my life,” said Leonard said. “They told me everything I wanted to hear, and more.”
The former champion said he used drugs and alcohol to “numb” his shame of being a victim of child sexual abuse.
“I beat myself up for years,” said Leonard as the two-day conference got underway with Hurricane Sandy quickly approaching Pennsylvania.
Now Leonard said he wants to step into the spotlight as a leader in the fight against child sex abuse in the hopes it will help other victims find the courage to report crimes to police.
“I’m going to be the poster child. I don’t care,” Leonard said to applause.
“I will be that leader. I will stand right there and say, ‘Yes, something must be done now. Not later, now,'” Leonard said….