Savile victims may win payout over claims dismissed by police

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile
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VICTIMS of Jimmy Savile who complained to police before the Leeds-born presenter was exposed publicly as a sex offender could be in line for compensation, it is claimed.

Lawyers say victims who went to the authorities with details of their ordeal at the hands of the disc jockey before ITV’s 2012 documentary exposed his criminal activities have a “very strong” case against police for dismissing their claims.

It comes after two women who were attacked by taxi rapist John Worboys won a landmark case in the High Court in their claim against the Metropolitan Police after their complaints were not taken seriously.

More than 100 rape victims could be in line for compensation from Scotland Yard over its botched investigation and Savile’s victims who made claims about him while he was still alive may now be able to follow suit.

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.

In October, a transcript of a 56-minute interview of Savile carried out by Surrey Police in 2009, two years before he died, showed how he fended away officers with lies, bluster and legal threats.

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 boasted he ‘owned’ the NHS hospital at Stoke Mandeville and said he brushed off girls ‘like midges’.

Savile first came to the attention of authorities in 2007 when Surrey police started an investigation after an allegation he had abused a teen 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 CPS 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.

And a report by policing watchdog HMIC identified 11 failures by Surrey police to effectively investigate the DJ, including allowing him to choose where and when to be quizzed. Since then, hundreds of victims have come forward revealing a pattern of abuse spanning decades.

Neil Fearn, partner at Simpson Millar solicitors, who have been contacted by victims of Savile, said: “These women have suffered once at the hands of Saville and again at the hands of the justice system with the police not taking their claims seriously and investigating piecemeal.

“Since then a review of the CPS decision not to prosecute Saville after allegations of assault has found the original investigation to be flawed.

“It is very clear that the way these women’s claims were dismissed by the investigating authorities at the time breaches their human rights and they have the right to fair and proper compensation for the anguish and mental suffering they have endured ever since.”

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.