Jimmy Savile was Britain’s worst-ever sex offender, carrying out 450 sickening attacks on victims as young as eight over six decades.
The disgraced TV presenter raped 34 separate victims – 26 women and eight men – and sexually attacked 18 girls and 10 boys under the age of 10 during a 54-year catalogue of abuse.
A total of 328 victims were children when they were abused with 14 of the attacks taking place in schools, in some cases after children wrote to Savile’s TV show Jim’ll Fix It.
Savile carried out 57 attacks in 13 hospitals and a hospice and even used the last ever recording of Top of the Pops in 2006 to abuse a member of the audience, an official report by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC said today.
Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, carried out the attacks between 1955 and 2009 and was at his most dangerous between 1966 and 1976. His youngest victim was an eight-year-old boy and the oldest was 47.
A total of 214 criminal offences have been recorded against his name in 28 police forces, but do not include any attacks in the West Mercia area. A separate report by Britain’s top prosecutor Keir Starmer admitted Savile escaped prosecution on three separate occasions.
Today’s report said Savile used his celebrity status to “hide in plain sight” and had effectively ‘groomed the nation’ through his high-profile charity work.
Savile’s abuse spanned his entire career at the BBC, with 33 attacks taking place at TV or radio studios. He abused patients at Leeds General Infirmary, where he worked between 1965 and 1995, and committed offences at Stoke Mandeville Hospital between 1965 and 1988.
Savile attacked vulnerable youngsters at children’s home Duncroft School between 1970 and 1978 – including Oswestry woman Karin Ward who was among the first of his victims to speak publicly. And the report disclosed that Savile was accused of sexually touching a hospice patient, aged 13 to 16.
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.”
Mr Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, said Savile could have been prosecuted in 2009 – two years before he died – had police taken victims more seriously.
He said: “I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for the shortcomings in the part played by the CPS in these cases. If this report and my apology are to serve their full purpose, then this must be seen as a watershed moment.”
Surrey Police consulted with the Crown Prosecution Service about four allegations reported between 2007 and 2008 but it was decided that no prosecution could be brought because the victims would not support police action.
However Alison Levitt QC, legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, concluded that “had the police and prosecutors taken a different approach” charges could have been brought against Savile in relation to three victims.
David Cameron’s official spokesman said the Prime Minister believes it “is absolutely right that every institution involved gets to the bottom of what has gone on”.