Saturday 22 October 2016

Victims' lawyer slams Jimmy Savile report as an 'expensive whitewash'

Published 25/02/2016 | 10:42

Jimmy Savile. Photo: PA
Jimmy Savile. Photo: PA

Victims of Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall will feel let down by the Dame Janet Smith report and will see it as "an expensive whitewash", according to a lawyer representing them.

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Liz Dux, a specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers, who represents 168 victims, said: "All the Savile and Hall victims have ever wanted from this report is truth and accountability.

"Despite millions having been spent on the inquiry, my clients will feel let down that the truth has still not been unearthed and many will feel it is nothing more than an expensive whitewash.

"It is unfortunate that Dame Janet had no power to compel senior managers to give evidence, giving the impression that the whole picture of who knew what has not been revealed.

"With 117 witnesses giving evidence of concerns and rumours, it's implausible to suggest that this did not reach the upper echelons of the BBC.

"What's apparent is that the senior managers only had to scratch at the very surface and a lot of Savile's offending would have been revealed.

"There is real concern that the culture of fear and oppression referred to might have prevented more from speaking out more candidly and still exists today."

NSPCC chief executive, Peter Wanless, said: "This report demonstrates just how disturbingly easy at the time it was for Savile to get away, unchallenged, with despicable acts against children at the BBC. The impact on his victims has been profound - as we have already witnessed from calls to our helpline.

"It is tragic that a culture existed at the BBC in which Savile became too powerful to confront, so allowing him to use his celebrity status to abuse at will, leaving a trail of devastation in his wake.

"The BBC must ensure staff can easily raise concerns and that robust safeguarding procedures are in place to effectively act on these so that a scandal of this kind, never mind this magnitude, is never repeated."

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