DJ's relatives tell of despair and sadness claims
Police net widens to include star's friends
Jimmy Savile's traumatised family broke its silence yesterday to reveal its "despair and sadness" at his "indecent criminal acts". On the eve of the first anniversary of the death of Britain's most prolific and notorious paedophile, Savile's nephew, Roger Foster, stressed the relatives' upset "does not compare to that felt by the victims".
The family's comments came as some of the BBC star's closest friends and associates, who for so long have lived in fear of the sound of footsteps coming up the drive, face being arrested or questioned by police this week. A legendary radio producer, a well-known photographer and a DJ are among those of interest to the police, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. At least one alleged abuser has fled and gone into hiding.
Dozens of terrified celebrities have rushed to the PR consultant Max Clifford, he said yesterday, in an effort to stay out of Britain's biggest child-abuse scandal. "All kinds of things went on" in the past and people "never asked for anybody's birth certificate", Mr Clifford said on Friday. "For them to try to recount what happened in a dressing room in 1965 or 1968 or 1972, genuinely they are frightened to death," he added. With good reason it would seem: more than 400 lines of inquiry are being pursued by a 30-strong team of detectives at Scotland Yard. Most involve Savile but some relate to others. Commander Peter Spindler, who is heading the Operation Yewtree investigation, has vowed: "We will come for them."
The police are under added pressure after it emerged last week that at least seven alleged victims of Savile went to police in the years before he died. The CPS is investigating a decision in 2009 not to prosecute the star despite a file from Surrey police detailing four victims.
A source close to the police investigation said: "A producer that worked with Savile has been implicated as knowing about Savile's offending. He is currently in hiding refusing to talk to anybody. He has some serious questions to answer, not least his knowledge that Savile was abusing girls while he was present. Another who has been identified as knowing about Savile's offending is a photographer. Then you have the likes of Ray Teret, Jimmy's driver in the 1960s."
The police have taken an interest in Teret, 71, because of his lifelong friendship with Savile, which began when they shared a flat in Salford in the 1960s. In March 1999, the former Piccadilly Radio DJ was jailed for six months for having sex with an underage girl.
And it has been revealed that the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales is trying to have Savile's papal knighthood posthumously removed. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, has written to the Vatican to ask for the honour to be rescinded.
The serial child abuse committed by Savile, exposed in an ITV documentary earlier this month, has prompted an investigation that has spread far beyond simply Savile and the BBC. Crimes ranging from rape to sexual assault have been reported across the country, plunging schools, care homes and hospitals into chaos with a series of individual inquiries now under way.
The scandal, rippling outward on a daily basis, has raised questions of a web of abusers that penetrated to the heart of the British establishment. Tom Watson MP claimed last week that a paedophile network may have extended into Downing Street under a former prime minister, citing "clear intelligence" of links between an unnamed former No 10 aide and paedophile Peter Righton.
The IoS heard new allegations this weekend that a doctor "collaborated" with Savile in selecting patients to rape at Leeds General Infirmary. Two former women patients have contacted the National Association of People Abused in Childhood (Napac) with specific details. "One of the victims has said Jimmy and this doctor used to collaborate in choosing girls and taking them somewhere else to abuse them," said Dr Jon Bird, the charity's operations manager. "We have been told about this doctor by two separate callers to our helpline, along with dates that could help identify them." Dr Bird confirmed the allegation was "brutal rape" by a doctor and Savile individually at "different times".
In a statement, a spokesman for the hospital said: "The trust has not been passed any information about a specific allegation or the name of an individual, so understandably we cannot say any more about this."
Edwina Currie, health minister when Savile was chosen to head a task force at Broadmoor Hospital in the 1980s, is under scrutiny as part of a Department of Health investigation. And investigations are also under way at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary.
The terrible legacy of Savile's casual abuse of young women, often apparently at whim, was highlighted by a new victim who spoke exclusively to The IoS yesterday, detailing a sexual assault at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. She was visiting her mother in the late 1960s at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which had became a "second home" to the victim who was "only just a teenager at the time".
She remembers visiting the hospital's radio studio. "Jimmy Savile was sitting at one of the turntables. The next thing I knew he had sat me on his left leg... As I was sitting I could feel Jimmy Savile's fingers touching my leg through the holes in my tights... Then he put his right arm around me and pushed his hand under my dress, placing it on my left breast."
She managed to escape and returned to the ward in tears. "The sister in charge of the ward asked me what was wrong and I told her that I didn't want to go back to the radio station because he had touched me. She dismissed what I said out of hand and made it clear that she didn't believe me." The woman, now in her fifties, said the "hurt came flooding back" when the Savile scandal broke. "I hope that finally I will be believed and this will start to heal the trauma that was caused to me that day."
She is being represented by the law firm Hodge Jones & Allen. Jocelyn Cockburn, a partner in the company, said the case epitomised the "twofold betrayal of a vulnerable child" and scores of other victims of first sexual assault and then widespread refusal to believe them. Stoke Mandeville refused to comment.
While Savile evaded punishment, the past is catching up with others, says former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, whose investigations were the basis of the Savile ITV exposé that started the furore. He said: "There are a number of new allegations... A number of individuals will be sleeping very uncomfortably at night, and so they should."
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