Comedian Jim Davidson ‘pleased’ he will not face sex charges due to lack of evidence


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The Independent Online

The comedian Jim Davidson has expressed relief after he was told he will not be charged with any sexual offence after prosecutors ruled there was not enough evidence to secure a conviction following complaints by ten women.

Mr Davidson, 59, still faces an outstanding allegation of a sexual offence in the Falklands said to have been committed while he was on tour to entertain the troops in 1983.

The decision by prosecutors follows strenuous denials of any wrong-doing by the former host of the Generation Game and comes seven months after he was arrested as he flew in to Britain to take part in Celebrity Big Brother.

The comedian had been investigated over nine possible offences against different women and a further case involving a second man, aged 53, who was arrested in Hampshire on the same day as Mr Davidson but has not been publicly identified. He was also told he faces no further action.

“My client Jim Davidson was, of course, arrested a number of months ago in respect of allegations of a historical sexual nature,” said his solicitor Henri Brandman. “He is pleased to have received news today that there will be no further action relating to the allegations.”

In a statement after his arrest in January, the solicitor said that the allegations had been made by two women. Mr Davidson was re-arrested in March after further allegations came to light, some of which are believed to date back more than 30 years.

The other complaint against Mr Davidson that was passed to detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse inquiry has now been sent back to the authorities in the Falkland Islands, said Scotland Yard.

The island authorities said that it expected to receive the results of the Yard's inquiry into an alleged sexual offence in 1983. “The Attorney General of the Falkland Islands will consider the results of the investigation and determine whether a prosecution is to be brought,” it said.

Mr Davidson founded the British Forces Foundation charity in 1999 to provide entertainment for British troops. In 2001 he was made an OBE for charity work.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that it has told all of the women about its decisions and has offered to meet them to explain further.

“This file of evidence included ten separate allegations. One complaint related to an allegation of an incident involving both men, and the other nine related to the 59-year-old alone,” said the CPS in a statement.

“We have determined that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to all complaints and have advised the Metropolitan Police Service that no further action should be taken.”

Even before his arrest, Mr Davidson had criticised Operation Yewtree on his blog and claimed it had turned into a “witch-hunt” that got a “bit silly”. “Everyone is now an expert. Just pick someone you don't like and say it's them,” he wrote.

After he became the tenth man to be arrested in the inquiry, he said he had no connections with Savile, who was named as one of the country's worst paedophiles who used his fame to prey on children.

Mr Davidson's career has been long and controversial since emerging from the television talent show New Faces in 1976, with high-profile appearances as the host of the BBC's Generation Game and Big Break.

He has toured Britain with stand-up shows and pantomime, but has been criticised for his jokes about the gay community and ethnic minorities. His personal life has been turbulent with four divorces and a bankruptcy.

Former pop star Gary Glitter, the comedian Freddie Starr and the public relations man Max Clifford are among the other high-profile names who have been arrested during the inquiry.