Yewtree suspect found dead

A former driver charged with sex offences as part of the investigation triggered by allegations of abuse against Jimmy Savile has been found dead at his home, Scotland Yard said. David Smith, 66, failed to appear at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.

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Post mortem taking place on body of Yewtree accused

A post mortem examination is taking place on the body of David Smith who was charged with sex offences as part of the investigation triggered by allegations of abuse against Jimmy Savile.

The 66-year-old, who was the first person to be charged under Operation Yewtree, was found dead at his home by police after failing to turn up at Southwark Crown Court in London for the start of his trial yesterday.

David Smith was found dead at his home yesterday after failing to turn up at court. Credit: PA Wire

Judge Alistair McCreath today ordered that the file on the case should be closed, after hearing from Detective Constable Michael Wallace, the officer in the case who identified the body, that it was the same man as charged in the indictment.

Smith had faced two counts of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child, and one of buggery, all relating to a 12-year-old boy, between June 1 and July 21 1984.

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Alleged that driver met victim at a swimming pool

It was alleged that David Smith met his victim at a swimming pool and invited him back to his flat, where he sexually abused him, the BBC reported.

He also took the boy on a visit to the BBC studios at White City in west London. The boy reportedly claimed he was indecently assaulted during the journey.

The victim's partner contacted police after she saw his response to the ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile, which was broadcast last October, the BBC said.

Yewtree suspect had failed to attend court appearance

Earlier today, David Smith failed to turn up at Southwark Crown Court for the start of his trial.

Smith's counsel Sandy Canavan said her solicitor had been attempting to contact Smith without success.

Former BBC driver David Smith, 66, was found dead at his home in south London. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Ms Canavan said: "He has been regularly in contact, I am concerned at the lack of contact. He is the sole carer for his very aged and very unwell mother, that may have affected why he's not here today."

Scotland Yard on death of Yewtree suspect

Police attended a private address in Effingham Road, Lewisham on Monday 28 October as a man had failed to appear at Southwark Crown Court today.

At approx 1420 officers entered the address and found the body of a man. A FME (forensic medical examiner) attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Next of kin are being informed.

Whilst officers believe they know the identity of the deceased, they await confirmation of formal identification.

– Scotland Yard statement
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