THE full-scale of disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile’s 54-year reign of sexual abuse has been exposed as it emerged his victims included 28 children aged under 10.
Branded one of the UK’s most prolific known sexual predators, Savile now has 214 criminal offences, spanning the breadth of the UK, recorded against his name, including 34 rapes.
Presenting a Metropolitan Police and NSPCC joint report yesterday, Detective Superintendent David Gray said: “The sheer scale and the severity of his offending is appalling.”
Britain’s top prosecutor, Keir Starmer, also admitted Savile could have been charged over offences against at least three victims before his death in his home city of Leeds in 2011.
Uncovering the full scale of his depravity, detectives said Savile sexually abused a teenager visiting a relative at a Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds.
He preyed on victims at 13 hospitals including four in Yorkshire, mainly Leeds General Infirmary where he worked as a volunteer porter for three decades and abused at least 16 people.
A total of 34 offences have been recorded in West Yorkshire, eight in North Yorkshire and one in South Yorkshire.
Last night Savile’s victims expressed shock and anger at the length of time it has taken to expose the DJ.
But the report stops short of pinning any blame on other institutions that may have “missed past opportunities” to stop Savile.
A number of hospitals and the BBC are among organisations embroiled in the scandal and have launched internal investigations into how the entertainer carried out his serial abuse.
His attacks spanned 1955 to 2009, covering his entire career at the BBC, and included sexually touching a teenage girl at the final recording of Top of the Pops in 2006. His last reported crime occurred on a train between Leeds and London in 2009 when he assaulted a woman passenger.
A total of 450 people have come forward alleging sexual abuse against Savile since October, of whom 73 per cent were children when they were assaulted.
Scotland Yard officers are investigating the possibility Savile was part of “an informal network” of paedophiles.
Commander Peter Spindler, who is leading the national investigation into Savile’s 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.”
Det Supt Gray, from the Met’s paedophile unit, said Savile must have thought about his sex offending “every minute of every waking day” and had picked on the most vulnerable victims so that they would not speak out.
Mr Starmer, director of public prosecutions, said Savile could have been prosecuted in 2009, two years before he died, had police taken victims more seriously when four allegations were reported of abuse, and apologised for shortcomings in the cases.
One victim, Kevin Cook, said he was abused by Savile and a second man when he visited BBC studios for Jim’ll Fix It as a nine-year-old scout in the mid-seventies.
He said: “I’m shocked by the amount of time it’s gone on and the amount that’s gone on.”
Paralysed Caroline Moore, who has accused Savile of abusing her at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1971, said: “I’m absolutely furious that he was able to do what he did.”
Peter Watt, director of child protection advice and awareness at the NSPCC, said Savile was one of the most prolific sex offenders the charity had dealt with in its 129-year history.
“It’s clear Savile cunningly built his entire life into gaining access to vulnerable children. The sheer scale of Savile’s abuse over six decades simply beggars belief,” he said.
Roger Foster, Savile’s nephew and spokesman for the family, said they would “have to decide what to do as a family” after reading the report.