Monday 22 January 2018

Savile attack at BBC centre probed in 80s

Gordon Rayner

THE BBC is facing fresh questions over how much it knew about Jimmy Savile's child abuse after it emerged that Scotland Yard investigated an attack on a child at Television Centre in the 1980s.

Almost 300 alleged victims have now contacted Operation Yewtree, the investigation into historic allegations of child abuse, which was set up in response to Savile's exposure by an ITV documentary. More than 400 lines of inquiry are being pursued.

A retired Metropolitan Police officer has now come forward to say he dealt with an allegation of indecent assault by Savile when he was at the height of his fame with 'Jim'll Fix It'.

The attack was alleged to have happened in Savile's caravan at the BBC's headquarters. It was reported to police but there was "no evidence that would substantiate a prosecution", said the former officer, Peter Spindler.

He disclosed that a second alleged victim had also contacted Scotland Yard in 2003 to say Savile "touched her inappropriately" in the 1970s. However, she did not want to press charges and simply wanted the Met to know about it so police could use it as intelligence.

Mr Spindler said he did not know if Savile had been interviewed over the allegation. The BBC said the matter was "being dealt with by the police".

Detectives have so far taken details from 130 victims, and identified 114 allegations of crime. All but two are women.

Most of the allegations involve Savile, but others involve people who are still alive and Mr Spindler said he expected arrests to follow.

Rape

He said some of the allegations involved abusers who were close to Savile. Others involved third parties acting alone, but so far he had seen no evidence of a paedophile ring at the BBC or elsewhere.

Meanwhile, a victim of Jimmy Savile has described being raped by one of his BBC colleagues at Broadcasting House in 1970.

'Penny', a former model, said she believed Savile and his associate -- who worked "very closely" with the presenter -- "must have had a plan between them" to assault children. She said her attacker was still alive and that she now hoped to see him brought to justice.

Savile had previously tried to molest her in his caravan outside Broadcasting House, but when Savile's colleague invited her to London for a second time to attend a film preview, she accepted because she thought that this time she would not be alone.

But after watching the film at a small cinema, she left with Savile's colleague, who suggested she might like to see "where things went on".

She was taken into Aeolian Hall, next door to Broadcasting House and then part of the BBC, and into an upstairs office.

'Penny' told 'ITV News': "When I realised what was going to happen, he said, 'shut up, don't make any noise.' He went straight into the rape."

She said the man was still alive and "I'd like him to be brought to justice", adding: "If he can do it to me, did others go before me?" (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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