Hiding in plain sight as police remained wary
Jimmy Savile was right to think claims would not stick because of his fame, writes MARK HENNESSY
For decades Jimmy Savile barely bothered to conceal his sex abuse crimes, believing that the mantle of celebrity would frighten off his victims and those who would try to bring him to book. He was right.
In 150 pages yesterday, the British director of public prosecutions, Kier Starmer, trawled through the final efforts in 2008 and 2009 that could have led to Savile facing justice.
They failed. Four complaints had been made in Surrey and Sussex, some dating back 40 years. However, detectives were wary, fearful that witnesses would buckle or not be believed in court.
None of the four women was told of the existence of each other, while detectives told them that their allegations would have to corroborated before police would even approach Savile.
Officially, the cases were dropped on the grounds that none of the victims was “prepared to support any police action”, said Mr Starmer, who said prosecutors had been too cautious.
In 1968, one 20-year-old woman wrote to the Top of the Pops star, offering him a place in her family’s BB after he had said that he would like someone “to put him up”.
The offer was politely declined. Two years later, however, Savile’s chauffeur turned up at the now married woman’s home in a Rolls Royce, ready to take her to his master.
Savile was at the local town hall, embracing pensioners.
The next thing she remembered was that he had his arm around her shoulders and they ended up in a caravan that was outside the town hall.
He started saying things to her such as “you are lovely; I’d like to lock you up in a cupboard and you’d be with me all the time”, and that he would like to buy the house next to hers and that then he would be happy all the time.
Soon, however, she was pushed on to the bed and groped. Later he sat up, asked her if she had the bus fare to get home and offered her a memento of her visit to his caravan. She picked “a small crucifix with a deer at the foot”. Forty years on, she still has it.
When she got home she told her husband. He was angry and wanted to complain. However, she was embarrassed, “feeling silly” that she had ended up in the caravan and told him to forget it.