Q&A: Jimmy Savile abuse

Jimmy Savile at Leeds General Infirmary

A series of reports has found that former DJ and presenter Jimmy Savile subjected patients in hospitals across the country to "truly awful" sexual abuse for more than four decades. Here are the key questions about the Savile scandal.

How did the hospital investigations come about?

Revelations in an ITV documentary in 2012 prompted more than 100 people to come forward, giving accounts of how they were sexually abused by Savile on NHS premises and in other places.

The Metropolitan Police passed the material to the Department of Health, which gave it to individual hospital trusts to investigate.

The Department of Health appointed Kate Lampard QC to oversee the independent hospital investigations to make sure they were properly carried out.

The reports covered 28 NHS hospitals including Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

What were the conclusions of the reports?

The investigations found that victims of the "opportunistic sexual predator" included patients, visitors and staff, who were abused in patient beds, and in corridors and offices.

The reports on Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor were the most detailed. Savile's victims at Leeds General ranged from five-year-olds to 75-year-olds, and included men, women, boys and girls.

The inquiry at Leeds General included the testimonies of 60 people who gave accounts of their experiences with Savile to investigators. Thirty-three of these were patients, and three of the incidents were rapes.

Investigators discovered members of staff at Leeds General failed to pass on complaints of abuse to senior managers, who could have acted to stop it happening.

At high-security hospital Broadmoor, Savile sexually abused at least five individuals, including two patients who were subjected to repeated assaults.

They found "clear failings" in the way access to wards in Broadmoor was controlled, as Savile had keys allowing him unrestricted access to ward areas within the security perimeter.

The report found sexual relationships between staff and patients were tolerated in what was a "clear, repeated failure of safeguarding standards".

Investigator Dr Bill Kirkup said the Broadmoor report's findings were "likely to represent an underestimate of the true picture".

How did the claims against Savile emerge?

Savile, a Radio 1 DJ who also presented the BBC's Top Of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It, died aged 84 in October 2011, a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in an ITV documentary called Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile on 3 October 2012.

In it, several women alleged he sexually abused them when they were under age. This sparked a flurry of allegations in the following days from other alleged victims.

The documentary resulted in a joint review by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC into allegations that Savile abused women, girls and boys.

Leeds General Infirmary

The findings of the review, published in January 2013, saw 214 criminal offences, including 34 rapes, recorded against Savile's name across the UK between 1955 and 2009.

Claims that some of the abuse happened in hospitals prompted the separate NHS investigations.

Another report, into his activities at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, has been delayed after new information recently came to light.

The Metropolitan Police launched a "formal criminal investigation" into Savile's alleged offences in October 2012, called Operation Yewtree.

Operation Yewtree consists of three strands - abuse claims against Savile, claims against Savile and others, and claims against others. Investigations continue into the latter two strands.

The NSPCC said Savile abused at least 500 victims, including some as young as two.

Were there previous allegations against Savile?

In 2007, Surrey Police questioned Savile over allegations of child sex abuse in the 1970s. The matter was referred to the CPS, which advised there was insufficient evidence to take further action.

In 2008, Sussex Police received a complaint of sexual assault against Savile which allegedly took place in Worthing in 1970. But police later said the victim was "unwilling to co-operate in any investigation".

Savile was also named, although not publicly, during a 2008 police investigation into abuse at Haut de Garenne children's home in Jersey.

In December 2011, BBC Newsnight decided not to broadcast the results of a six-week investigation into claims that Savile, who had recently died and had been a prominent BBC presenter from the 1960s to 1980s, had sexually abused young people.

An internal review by the CPS, published in January 2013, concluded that Savile could have been prosecuted while he was alive over three allegations of sexual offences if police and prosecutors had taken a "different approach".

The then director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, apologised for the shortcomings of the CPS, saying that while their inquiry found "no improper motive", the alleged victims had been treated with "a degree of caution which was neither justified or required".

Which organisations were called into question?

As well as the NHS, the BBC was criticised for not questioning Savile's behaviour or flagging up any abuse allegations during his long career at the corporation.

Former BBC director general George Entwistle announced in October 2012 that the corporation would hold two inquiries into the sexual abuse claims made against Savile.

The first, into the decision by Newsnight to drop its investigation into Savile, was headed by former head of Sky News, Nick Pollard. He published his report in December 2012.

BBC Broadcasting House

Mr Pollard criticised the BBC for "chaos and confusion" in management but found no evidence that the Newsnight film was dropped because the BBC was to run a Savile tribute programme during the 2011 Christmas schedule.

The BBC accepted Mr Pollard's findings in full. The editor and deputy editor of Newsnight were replaced and the deputy director of news Stephen Mitchell resigned.

The other investigation is looking into whether culture and practice at the BBC at the time enabled Savile to carry out the sexual abuse of children. This is being led by former Appeal Court judge Dame Janet Smith, and publication is expected in the summer of 2014.

A third inquiry, led by Dinah Rose QC, looked at sexual harassment at the BBC and led to the corporation overhauling its bullying and harassment policy.

In addition, the the Department for Education has told local authorities to investigate claims that Savile abused children at 21 children's homes and schools in England in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

How has Savile's legacy been affected?

Two charities set up in Savile's name, the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust and the Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust, announced their closure. His estate, valued at £3.3m, has been used to fund compensation claims.

Following the flood of abuse allegations, various affiliations and commemorations to Savile's memory were removed.

Graffiti on a cottage owned by Jimmy Savile in Glen Coe A cottage owned by Jimmy Savile in Glen Coe was vandalised shortly after the allegations came to light

A footpath sign in Scarborough commemorating Savile, who often stayed in the seaside town, was taken down by the borough council.

A plaque outside his former flat there was also removed after the words "rapist" and "paedophile" were written on it.

Leeds City Council took Savile's name off an inscription on a wall commemorating high-profile citizens at the city's Civic Hall, and the owners of a conference centre in Leeds named after the former star announced it would be rebranded "out of respect" for public opinion.

A triple headstone marking Savile's grave in Scarborough's Woodlands Cemetery was destroyed according to his family's wishes.

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