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Saturday 30 August 2014

Savile police op has 'gone too far'

Published 26/03/2013 | 10:21

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Jimmy Savile

A former BBC producer released without charge after being arrested by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal said the police operation had "gone too far".

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Wilfred De'ath was one of 11 people arrested so far under Operation Yewtree, a national probe prompted by allegations that emerged against Savile, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Monday that there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Mr De'ath, who has always denied any wrongdoing, said he believed that police were over-compensating now because they failed to get Savile at the time and claimed Operation Yewtree was "getting silly".

"My general comment would be that Operation Yewtree has gone too far," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"As Jim Davidson says it is getting silly now. It really is getting silly."

He said that he was "pretty disgusted" he had not done more to tackle Savile at the time but admitted he would never have dreamed of "grassing him up", despite confronting him over his behaviour.

Pressed about a previous admission that he had challenged Savile about spending the night with a girl who was possibly as young as 10 years old, he said: "I confronted him on the evening of transmission, I did say that to him, I said 'I think you are living dangerously'. He said 'oh, no, no, no' and he just brushed me off.

"I keep saying this but the culture in those days was so different, it would never have occurred to me to go to the head of the department. I was pretty shocked and disgusted. I, at that time, was a happily married man with my wife and daughter in Hampstead and I was pretty shocked and appalled."

Mr De'ath said: "It was a different culture in the mid sixties. Sexual matters were taken much more lightly, there wasn't the sensitivity that there is now."

He said he was "physically frightened of Savile" adding: "I have to be honest and say I wouldn't have dreamed of going and grassing him up. I do slightly regret it but then it was common talk in the corridors of Broadcasting House. It was common talk that he liked young girls."

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