THE police watchdog today launched an investigation into claims that a senior West Yorkshire officer acted on behalf of disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile before he was questioned over alleged sex crimes.
The allegations refer to the former inspector officer having inappropriately contacted Surrey Police ahead of a police interview with Savile in 2009 - the details of which were published for the first time last night.
Claims were referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission earlier this year that the officer, known as Inspector 5, had contacted Surrey Police before its detectives interviewed Savile in 2009, and today the watchdog announced its own investigation.
The announcement came after a transcript of the interview was published by Surrey, revealing how Savile bragged that he had “a collection” of police contacts in Leeds.
He told officers that he had been targeted with false claims by blackmailers, and said: “I have up in Yorkshire, where I live in Leeds, a collection of senior police persons who come to see me socially, but I give them all my weirdo letters.”
The former star remained defiant during the interview - which took place at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital on October 1, 2009 - boasting he had to fight off girls “like midges”.
Savile, who was revealed by police to have been sexually abusing victims since 1955, was asked about touching a young girl “sexually” over her clothes, asking for a massage and then for oral sex.
The transcript shows him responding with disdain as he told police he faced these accusations because “people are looking for a bit of blackmail or the papers are looking for a story”.
The interview also suggests Savile was aware of allegations or complaints about him.
He said: “The reward for helping people is sometimes you get, like a situation like this for instance, when helping people cos I go to Duncroft you are very nice, cos you can see the friendly way that I am, and all of sudden somebody turns around and bites your leg, and its the same in Leeds Infirmary and its the same here (at Stoke Mandeville).”
Surrey Police published a redacted version of the interview tonight from its Child Protection Team investigation into allegations of abuse at Duncroft Children’s home in Berkshire.
The 40-minute interview took place at the presenter’s office at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which Savile bragged he owned, and which forms part of current investigations into his offending.
Leeds-born Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, challenged officers over why he would need to commit offences, and said in fact he was “assaulted” by women and there were “plenty of girls about”.
An officer put it to him that a victim said “when Jimmy Savile visited, he touched her over her clothes sexually”, to which he replied: “Out of the question”.
Savile then “asked her to comb his hair then massage him”, the officer said. He answered: “Not true, none of it.”
“Then massage his groin area, and give him oral sex,” the detective said. “Oh! Out of the question,” replied Savile.
Police asked if he went to Duncroft, knowing it was an all-girls place “to receive sexual gratification” but he dismissed it as a “flight of fancy and fantasy”. He said his accusers wanted money.
“My business there’s women looking for a few quid, we always get something like this coming up for Christmas, because we want a few quid for Christmas right. And normally you can brush them away like midges and it’s not much of a price to pay for the lifestyle.”
It seems Savile was prepared to go to court. He claimed he had already had five newspapers settle with him after threats to sue.
He said his willingness to go before a judge proved he had done nothing wrong. “Because I’ve never done anybody any harm in my entire life, ‘cos... there’s no need to,” he said. “No need to chase girls, I’ve thousands of them on Top of the Pops, thousands on Radio One. No need to take liberties with them, out of the question and anyway it’s not my nature.”
Liz Dux of law firm Slater & Gordon, which is representing 72 victims, said: “The interview shows Savile to be a man with complete disdain and contempt for those that he was purporting to help.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced more hospitals may be investigated as part of inquiries into Savile’s sexual abuse on NHS premises.