Savile child sex scandal deepens

The late Sir Jimmy Savile, who had a holiday home in Scarborough, and is now at the centre of child sex abuse allegations.
The late Sir Jimmy Savile, who had a holiday home in Scarborough, and is now at the centre of child sex abuse allegations.

Allegations that the late Sir Jimmy Savile sexually abused schoolgirls are continuing to surface ahead of a TV documentary that is set to air tomorrow.

The Sun and the Daily Mail have printed fresh revelations from four women who claim they were victims of the TV star, who owned a flat in Scarborough.

The Mail reported that Katrina Rose, 51, said she was attacked in Savile’s flat when she was 14 and Bebe Roberts, 62, claimed the ‘sleazy’ presenter sneaked into bedrooms at a girls boarding school and once assaulted her when she was 15. A third unamed woman told the newspaper she was raped at 15 during a work experience stint. She yesterday reported her accusation to police for the first time.

As the scandal around the star deepened, 52-year-old Deborah Cogger broke a 38-year silence and told the Sun she had been raped by Savile when she was just 14.

Surrey Police today confirmed it had referred an allegation of rape against Sir Jim to Scotland Yard.

“A woman yesterday (Monday, 1 October) reported a historic allegation of rape,” Surrey Police said.

“The alleged offence occurred in London, therefore the matter has been referred to the Metropolitan Police.”

Police also said today that the Leeds-born DJ and TV presenter was investigated during an inquiry into abuse at a Jersey children’s home.

The three-year inquiry into child abuse at Haut de la Garenne heard allegations that Sir Jimmy was involved in an indecent assault in the 1970s.

The States of Jersey Police said there was insufficient evidence for the investigation to proceed.

The BBC has come under mounting pressure to order an inquiry into claims his activities had been covered up and last night it emerged he was questioned by Surrey Police in 2007 over abuse in the 1970s.

However, following a request by the Scarborough News, a North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed no formal complaints had been made locally.

Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini has claimed his former Radio 1 colleague used his charity fundraising work as a leverage to prevent his private life being exposed.

Speaking on ITV1’s Daybreak yesterday, Mr Gambaccini said he had been “waiting 30 years” for the story to emerge. He recalled how Savile, who raised more than £42million for charity during his lifetime, had threatened newspapers that his cash would dry up if they published allegations about him.

Mr Gambaccini said: “Jimmy had an imperial personality. You just didn’t mess with Jim. He was the governor, because he had been the first great club DJ and the originator of Top Of The Pops, you just let him have his turf.”

Other celebrities spoke out amid the sex abuse scandal, with Louis Theroux, who made a BBC documentary about Sir Jimmy, claiming his “thoughts are with the victims”.

Theroux posted online: “So the rumours seem to have been in some degree validated. I haven’t seen ITV’s expose on Jimmy Savile yet, but from what I understand there are a number of credible accounts from underaged teenage girls of Jimmy abusing his position of trust and celebrity to procure sexual favours.

“What is especially disturbing is the nature of the alleged abuse - the fact that it apparently took place repeatedly, in the workplace and at a school he was visiting, and that it may have been known to his bosses and co-workers.”

But relatives and friends of the Jim’ll Fix It star expressed their disgust that the allegations are being made when the presenter, who died on October 29 last year aged 84, was not around to defend himself. Roger Foster, Savile’s nephew, said his family was “disgusted and disappointed” by a documentary which is due to detail the child abuse allegations when it is screened by ITV tomorrow evening.

Mr Foster, from Goole in East Yorkshire, said he was concerned for his uncle’s reputation and also for the damage the allegations could do to charities. He added: “He hasn’t been dead a year and they’re bringing this out. It could affect his legacy and his charity work. I’m very sad and disgusted. I just don’t understand the motives behind this.

“I just think it’s very, very sad you can say these things after someone’s died and the law says you can’t defend yourself when you’re dead.”

Presented by former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, the ITV1 documentary features six women who claim Sir Jimmy was a sexual predator who assaulted them while they were under-age.

One woman alleges she was raped by the DJ and another says she was asked to perform a sex act on him.

ITV said one of the contributors explained how she was too frightened to speak out while Sir Jimmy was alive.

One woman tells the programme how she met Sir Jimmy at a school in Surrey in 1974 when she was 14 and he assaulted her in his caravan parked in the school grounds.

ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen told the programme that she now believes Sir Jimmy sexually abused under-age girls, after seeing their interviews.

“We all blocked our ears to the gossip, “ she said. “We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise. He was a sort of God-like figure.

“Everybody knew of the good that Jimmy did and what he did for children. And these children were powerless, “ she said.

An ITV spokesman stressed “particular care and consideration” was given before deciding to broadcast the documentary, especially as Sir Jimmy is “not here to defend himself”.

For more than six decades, Sir Jimmy was one of Britain’s most established showbusiness figures and a leading charity worker.

The country’s first pop disc jockey, Sir Jimmy was also a seasoned television presenter, marathon runner, Mensa member, wrestler and fundraiser.

He was instantly recognisable in his trademark tracksuit and chunky jewellery.