Inquiry: Savile victims were laughed at

2014-02-24 17:05
Jimmy Savile. (AFP)

Jimmy Savile. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - British authorities "laughed at" victims of paedophile broadcaster Jimmy Savile when they revealed at the time that he had sexually abused them, a report by a charity said on Monday.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said some victims were told they were lucky to get attention from the star BBC television and radio presenter.

A police investigation concluded last year that Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, was a prolific, predatory sex offender who abused children as young as eight over more than 50 years, often in institutions such as schools and hospitals.

The NSPCC report, titled "Would They Actually Have Believed Me?", interviewed 26 Savile victims.

Some told hospital staff about the abuse, who dismissed their claims, while one went to the police, who took no action.

"The responses these victims received when they first revealed Savile's sickening crimes makes heart-rending reading," said Peter Watt, the NSPCC's director of national services.

"They were ignored, dismissed, not believed, laughed at and, astonishingly, told in some cases they should feel lucky he had paid them attention."

Watt said the victims had shown "true courage" in eventually coming forward to repeat their allegations, despite suffering lasting damage to their lives.

They reported "largely positive" responses from police when they spoke to officers from Operation Yewtree, the abuse inquiry set up by Scotland Yard into Savile and other alleged sex offenders in the entertainment world.

1000 victims

The police investigation identified 450 victims but an internal BBC inquiry leaked in January suggests up to 1 000 people were abused by Savile while he was working for the broadcaster.

Lawyers fighting for compensation for dozens of alleged Savile victims were at the High Court in London on Monday for a hearing relating to money left in the star's will.

Savile was one of the biggest TV stars in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, and used his fame as a presenter of the BBC chart show Top of the Pops and children's programme Jim'll Fix It to rape and assault his victims.

The Savile revelations sparked a crisis at the BBC over how he was able to carry out such attacks and about the corporation's failure to report the claims against him when they were first raised in the weeks after his death.

The health ministry is also investigating alleged abuse of patients at state-run hospitals, while the police report last year found that officers had failed to follow up evidence against Savile dating back as far as 1964.

Read more on:    jimmy savile  |  child abuse

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.