BBC agrees to co-operate with any Savile inquiry


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The BBC last night agreed to open its files and co-operate with any fresh criminal examination into claims of sexual assault by Sir Jimmy Savile.

The news came as it emerged that police investigated the late broadcaster and charity fundraiser over claims that he sexually assaulted an underage girl at a children's home that later became the centre of an abuse inquiry.

A three-year, £7.5m investigation by Jersey Police into historic child abuse in the island's care homes began after allegations of abuse at the former Haut de la Garenne children's unit. From September 2007, police took 1,776 statements from 192 alleged victims and identified 151 alleged abusers. Seven people were successfully prosecuted.

In 2008, a woman made a formal complaint to police that Savile molested her at Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s. Savile was a regular visitor to Jersey but denied ever visiting the home. However, a historic photograph has emerged which shows the Top of the Pops star at Haut de la Garenne with some of the children.

The complaint against Savile, who died last year at the age of 84, was dropped after police decided there was "insufficient evidence" for the investigation to proceed. A second woman, Dee Coles, yesterday claimed she was sexually abused by Savile in a caravan on Jersey when she was 14. She said she did not report the abuse to police at the time. In a separate development, the Metropolitan Police was last night examining a "historic allegation" of rape against the Jim'll Fix It presenter, referred to them by Surrey Police.

The BBC recently dropped a Newsnight report on the claims of 10 women who said they were assaulted by Savile.

An ITV1 documentary, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, will tonight accuse Savile of sexual abuse involving young girls.