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Tougher checks on celebrities and hospital volunteers needed in wake of Savile scandal

Celebrities and volunteers at hospitals should face tougher checks in the wake of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, an official report has said.

The recommendation from the Department of Health comes after Savile's celebrity status allowed him to carry out his reign of abuse at hospitals across the country - including at Leeds General Infirmary. The disgraced entertainer died in 2011 aged 84.


Controversial Jimmy Savile play set to open

The writer of play about shamed broadcaster, Jimmy Savile, which is set to open tonight in London has come under fire.

A controversial play is set to open about Jimmy Savile Credit: Press Association

Written by Jonathan Maitland and starring Alistair McGowan, 'An Audience with Jimmy Savile' is set in 1991, recently after he received his knighthood, and claims to explore the scandal behind the broadcaster's public persona:

It's 1991 and a TV show celebrates the recently knighted 'Most Trusted Man In Britain'. But while the great and the good praise him, a different story unfolds elsewhere as one woman embarks on an extraordinary quest to be believed.

How one man used fame, intimidation and manipulation to fool the very institutions we trust and how one brave woman fought back. Drawing extensively on material from genuine interviews, transcripts and TV shows, this is the first play to explore the most shocking sex scandal of our time: how Sir Jimmy Savile "groomed the nation".

– 'An Audience with Jimmy Savile'

The play has come in for criticism for being "too soon" while inquiries into the prolific paedophile are still being held.

Maitland received abuse on Twitter after announcing that he would be staging the story of the paedophile and late TV presenter's public and private life.

The play has come in for criticism for being Credit: Promotional image

It's an incredibly important story ... it's one of the most important stories of the last 30 years. I've spoken to about half a dozen victims of Savile. The victims are incredibly supportive. Everyone's presuming to speak for them, saying it's exploitative and they haven't seen it yet. The victims are saying ... 'we want to be heard'.

– Jonathan Maitland

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Jimmy Savile abused Surrey school pupils

Credit: Press Association

At least 22 pupils and one visitor at Duncroft Approved School in Staines, Surrey, were sexually abused by Jimmy Savile in the 1970s, a report by Surrey Police has concluded.

The force has concluded its investigations into the activities of the TV personality who was given "unrestricted and largely unsupervised" access to Duncroft School in Staines, Surrey, which he visited at least 16 times between 1974 and 1979 and even stayed overnight on two occasions.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced in December last year that no charges would be made against former staff members following the police investigation to find if anyone was complicit in the abuse.

Reports defence chiefs tried to cover up costs of forces attending funeral of Jimmy Savile

It is reported that the Ministry of Defence tried to cover up how much tax payers' money was used to have members of the armed forces attend the funeral of disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile.

Reports defence chiefs tried to cover up costs of forces attending funeral of Jimmy Savile Credit: Press Association

Fifteen troops were sent to attend the funeral in November 2011 at a cost of £1,647.11, but when a Freedom of Information request was submitted to the Ministry of Defence to find out the cost, officials said there was "no information".

An internal investigation revealed that officials had breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to disclose the details.

The Royal Marines regularly support high profile public events. On this occasion the criminal activity of Mr Savile, subsequently uncovered as part of Operation Yewtree, was unknown and the Royal Marines acted with the best intentions at the time.

– Ministry of Defence spokesperson


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Court sanctions compensation scheme for Savile victims

A compensation scheme set up for women who say they were sexually abused by television personality Jimmy Savile has been sanctioned by the Court of Appeal.

Three appeal judges gave their verdict today after a charity which is the major beneficiary of Savile's estate raised concerns about the scheme.

Lawyers representing the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust said the scheme - agreed between the estate executor, the NatWest bank, and lawyers representing alleged victims - did not assess the "validity" of claimants and lacked a "process of evaluation".

But today the Court of Appeal agreed with a High Court ruling that said the compensation scheme could go ahead.

Liz Dux, a lawyer at law firm Slater & Gordon which represents victims, said: "Today's ruling will bring great relief to Savile's many victims who have been living with the uncertainty of not knowing whether they would be blocked in their claims."

Savile officer faces misconduct probe

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has revealed it has served a misconduct notice on a detective sergeant with North Yorkshire Police as part of its investigation into the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The revelation has been made in a statement released today by the IPCC regarding its investigation into the way West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire Police handled complaints about the disgraced TV entertainer.

Disgraced TV host Jimmy Savile Credit: ITV Yorkshire

With regards to its investigation into the North Yorkshire force the statement says:

"The IPCC has an independent investigation under way into potential misconduct issues arising from the manner in which North Yorkshire police officers handled information about Jimmy Savile, and an associate, the late Peter Jaconelli.

"Matters under investigation by the IPCC relate to how the force handled information from a 15 year old girl in 2002 regarding Savile, and how the force treated two disclosures made by a serving prisoner about Jaconelli in December 2008 and January 2009.

"One serving detective sergeant has so far been served with a misconduct notice to advise him his conduct is subject to IPCC investigation. The officer has been interviewed by an IPCC investigator recently.

"The investigation is examining whether the North Yorkshire Police response to the disclosures was in accordance with national and force policies on crime recording, intelligence handling and dealing with victims of sexual abuse.

"This investigation follows a referral from North Yorkshire Police in April this year which included whether any information it held on record about Savile or his known associates was properly and comprehensively disclosed to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary when it, and other forces, were asked to do so by HMIC in December 2012 and again by the IPCC in May last year. "After assessment by the IPCC those matters have been sent back to the force to deal with.

"North Yorkshire Police has an ongoing investigation into historical sexual abuse for which it has previously asked people from the Scarborough area to come forward with any information.

– Sarah Green, IPCC deputy chair

With regard to the investigation into West Yorkshire Police the statement says:

An IPCC investigation into allegations against a former inspector with West Yorkshire Police having ‘acted on behalf’ of Jimmy Savile by inappropriately contacting Surrey Police ahead of a police interview in 2009 is nearing completion.

"The investigation is looking into what knowledge the former inspector had of any letters received making accusations against Savile and what action, if any, was taken in respect of them.

"The former inspector has been interviewed under criminal caution by an IPCC investigator.

"The IPCC has spoken to several former police and non-police attendees of the ‘Friday Morning Club’, or those with knowledge of it, as witnesses over whether they have any awareness of accusatory letters being received by Savile and passed on to officers or discussed.

"Investigators have been in contact with a number of the ongoing independent inquiries investigating allegations of abuse by Savile over any information they may have which would be useful to the IPCC independent investigation.”

"The IPCC investigation began last year following a direction to the force to record and refer the conduct of the former inspector, identified in a Surrey Police report as ‘Inspector 5’.

"Other wider Savile-related matters referred to the IPCC by West Yorkshire Police from its Operation Newgreen report were, after assessment, sent back to the force.

– Sarah Green, IPCC deputy chair

Savile victims' lawyer 'disappointed' by compensation scheme challenge

A charity set up by Jimmy Savile is to challenge a compensation scheme for victims of the sex attacker.

The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust will take its case to the Court of Appeal later this year.

Liz Dux, who represents 176 of the late DJ's victims, said she was disappointed by the move:

The Trustees of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust issued the following statement:

First, we remain concerned by the amount of legal fees that NatWest has incurred (over £0.5m to date). We are particularly concerned that NatWest’s
lawyers took their fees from the estate without having any authority to do so at the time.

Second, we do not feel that the proposed compensation scheme for claimants is fair. The current scheme gives the claimants’ lawyers an automatic right to claim fees of about £14,000 per claimant, irrespective of the amount the claimant receives.
This could mean a claimant receives only a fraction of the amount paid
to the lawyers. It also means that a very substantial amount of the estate
(perhaps over £2m) could be paid out in legal fees. We feel strongly that the
estate funds should either go to the claimants, or to beneficiaries of the estate (including the charity). It is our hope that we can protect the value of the estate by our application, so that more money is available to pay to those who have proper claims against the estate. As charity trustees, we also have an obligation to protect the funds that will go to charity, if there is anything left in the estate after paying the claims.

– Trustees of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust
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