UK's Savile abused hundreds over 6 decades, report claims
ReutersLONDON -- The late British TV presenter Jimmy Savile physically abused hundreds of people over six decades, according to a police-led report on Friday which said he carried out attacks at the BBC and at hospitals where he did voluntary work.
January 12, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Of his victims, 73 percent were under 18 and 82 percent were female. The oldest was 47 and the youngest just 8.
“Savile's offending footprint was vast, predatory and opportunistic,” Commander Peter Spindler told reporters.
Savile, one of the BBC's biggest stars of the 1970s and 80s received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth for charity work. He died in 2011, aged 84, a year before allegations about his abusive behavior emerged in a TV documentary.
Friday's report said he had committed 214 criminal offences including 34 rapes or serious sexual assaults across the country.
His offending first occurred in 1955 in the northern English city of Manchester and the last attack was in 2009, the report said. He abused people at the BBC from 1965 including in 2006 at the last recording of popular weekly show Top of the Pops.
He also targeted people at hospitals over 30 years from 1965, including at the renowned Great Ormond Street children's hospital in London.
“It is now clear that Savile was hiding in plain sight and using his celebrity status and fund-raising activity to gain uncontrolled access to vulnerable people across six decades,” the report said.
In all, 600 people had come forward to police with information of which 450 related to Savile.
The report, issued jointly by London police and the NSPCC children's charity, said it was likely there would be more victims who did not feel able to come forward.
Friday's report is one of 14 launched since the allegations about Savile emerged, including four at the BBC.
The revelations about Savile plunged the BBC into weeks of turmoil and led to resignation of the publicly funded broadcaster's director general just 54 days into his job.