Monday 26 February 2018

Jimmy Savile: Doctors at hospitals now linked to network of abuse

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile

INFORMATION on three doctors who worked at hospitals where Jimmy Savile had links has been passed to police amid claims they were involved in a network of child abusers connected with the disgraced presenter.

The Guardian said the trio were alleged to have abused young people in their care and were identified by victims who came forward in the last two weeks. Police are examining individuals who might have had access to vulnerable children, some of whom were associated with Savile, the newspaper said.

The former DJ, who died last year aged 84, had a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an office and living quarters at Broadmoor and widespread access to Leeds General Infirmary. Since the allegations about Savile emerged the children's charity the NSPCC said it has received 161 calls relating to him, which have been passed to police.

A decision not to prosecute Savile over abuse allegations in 2009 will come under the spotlight again after the Prime Minister said Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer would review legal papers from the case.

Surrey Police submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) containing references to four potential offences, including an allegation of indecent assault on a young girl at a children's home, but it was dropped due to a lack of evidence.

British Prime Minster David Cameron told MPs it was essential that lessons were learned from the scandal of Savile's decades of sexual abuse. Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, he said: "The Government will do everything it can do, other institutions must do what they can do, to make sure that we learn the lesson of this and it can never happen again."

Mr Starmer said the evidence was considered by prosecutors, but because the alleged victims would not support police action, it was decided not to proceed. As the number of allegations against Savile has snowballed, Mr Starmer asked the chief Crown prosecutor for the South East, Roger Coe-Salazar, to look at the files again. He concluded the correct decision was taken, although the files will again be reviewed "out of an abundance of caution".

Former BBC director general Mark Thompson also faces questions over whether he is the right person to take charge of the New York Times newspaper in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper Mr Thompson, who is due to become the paper's chief executive on November 12, said it was "totally reasonable for institutions like the New York Times and the BBC to be free to examine everything, including subjects of corporate interest in the institution itself".

The New York Times' editor had written that the newspaper must consider if Mr Thompson is right for the job, the Guardian said, a move the former director general said was "completely correct".

He also told the Guardian that it was the BBC's head of news, Helen Boaden, who told him there was nothing about Newsnight's investigation into Savile that should concern him.

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