Savile 'could have been prosecuted before death'By Chris Caulfield
January 11, 2013
DISGRACED TV presenter Jimmy Savile could have been prosecuted for sex offences while he was still alive, two separate reports have concluded.
No criminal action was taken after abuse allegations were investigated by Surrey Police between 2007 and 2009, but an inquiry has found there could have been a prosecution if the victims were taken more seriously and had been kept better informed.
The reports published on Friday said Savile carried out 34 rapes and 126 indecent acts against children as young as eight during a six-decade reign of terror, with some of the attacks taking place at the former Duncroft Approved School for Girls in Staines.
The first report, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said police and prosecutors could have taken victims more seriously and given them more information, while a joint Scotland Yard and NSPCC report said the "prolific and predatory" sex offender abused adults and children on an unprecedented scale.
Surrey Police received an allegation in May 2007 that Savile sexually assaulted a teenager at Duncroft in the late 1970s.
An investigation led to two more allegations emerging, the first that Savile sexually assaulted a girl aged about 14 outside Stoke Mandeville Hospital in or around 1973.
The second was that in the 1970s he suggested to a girl aged about 17, again at Duncroft, that she perform oral sex on him.
In March 2008, Sussex Police received a complaint that Savile had sexually assaulted a woman in her early 20s in a caravan in about 1970.
Surrey Police consulted with the CPS about all four allegations, and in October 2009 it was decided that no prosecution could be brought because the alleged victims would not support police action.
But Alison Levitt QC, legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said Savile could have been prosecuted had police taken victims more seriously.
Ms Levitt found Surrey Police did not tell each alleged victim that other complaints had been made, the Sussex force told the complainant corroboration was needed, and the prosecutor did not question why victims would not support court action or seek to build a case.
Furthermore, the individual victims told Ms Levitt that if they had known other people were making complaints, they probably would have been prepared to give evidence in court.
DPP Keir Starmer said: "I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for the shortcomings in the part played by the CPS in these cases."
Meanwhile, Surrey Police assistant chief constable Jerry Kirkby said: "It is important the actions taken by the investigation team are viewed in context.
"This should take into account what information was known about Jimmy Savile in 2007 and the necessary consideration given by police to the impact of their actions on securing successful court action against him.
"At the time, there was nothing to suggest the level of offending now being reported on a national scale.
"In July 2007, Surrey Police used national systems to conduct intelligence checks with every other police force in England and Wales. These checks found no record of any police intelligence or prior allegations relating to Jimmy Savile."
The allegations concerning the Duncroft children's home covered a period between 1970 and 1978.
Friday's reports said 450 people had come forward alleging sexual abuse against Savile since October 2012.
A total of 214 criminal offences have now been recorded against him across 28 police forces.
Of his victims, 73% were children, with the age range between eight and 47 years old at the time of the offences.
Commander Peter Spindler, who is leading the national investigation into the abuse, said: "Savile's offending footprint was vast, predatory and opportunistic.
"He cannot face justice today, but we hope this report gives some comfort to his hundreds of victims. They have been listened to and taken seriously."
The reports said Savile used his celebrity status to "hide in plain sight", with the NSPCC revealing that he also abused victims at 14 medical sites including hospitals, mental health units and even a hospice.