Savile's reign of abuse exposed

Maldon and Burnham Standard: There are now 214 criminal offences recorded against Jimmy Savile across 28 police forces, a report has said There are now 214 criminal offences recorded against Jimmy Savile across 28 police forces, a report has said

Jimmy Savile's 54-year reign of sexual abuse has been revealed as it emerged the disgraced TV presenter's victims included an eight-year-old boy and seriously ill children.

Branded as one of the UK's most prolific known sexual predators, Savile now has 214 criminal offences, spanning the breadth of the UK, recorded against his name including 34 rapes.

Presenting the "unprecedented" findings of a Metropolitan Police and NSPCC joint report, Detective Superintendent David Gray said: "The sheer scale and the severity of his offending is appalling."

Meanwhile, Britain's top prosecutor Keir Starmer admitted Savile could have been charged for offences against at least three victims before his death in 2011. Uncovering the full scale of his depravity, detectives said Savile sexually abused a teenager at a hospice, one of 14 medical sites he used to prey on his victims. He also committed 14 offences at schools across the country, partly when children had written to him as part of his popular BBC series Jim'll Fix It.

Savile's victims expressed shock and anger at the length of time it has taken to expose the DJ's predatory behaviour and that nobody attempted to put an end to the suffering. But the joint report stops short of pinning any blame on other institutions that may have "missed past opportunities" to stop Savile.

The Department of Health and BBC are among a number of organisations embroiled in the scandal and which have launched internal investigations into how the entertainer slipped under the radar. His abuse spanned from 1955 to 2009, covering his entire career at the BBC, and included sexually touching a teenage girl at the final recording of Top Of The Pops in 2006.

Savile abused patients at Leeds General Infirmary, where he worked between 1965 and 1995, and committed offences at Stoke Mandeville Hospital between 1965 and 1988. He also targeted residents at children's home Duncroft School between 1970 and 1978.

A total of 450 people have come forward alleging sexual abuse against Savile since October, of whom 73% were children at the time of the offences. The peak of his offending was between 1966 and 1976 when he was aged between 40 and 50, the report said. It also disclosed that Savile was accused of sexually touching a teenage visitor, aged 13 to 16, at Wheatfield hospice in Leeds in 1977. Scotland Yard officers are investigating the possibility that Savile was part of "an informal network" of paedophiles.

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, director of public prosecutions (DPP), said Savile could have been prosecuted in 2009, two years before he died, had police taken victims more seriously. "I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for the shortcomings in the part played by the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) in these cases. If this report and my apology are to serve their full purpose, then this must be seen as a watershed moment," he said.

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