Jimmy Savile: Victims' compensation scheme approved

Jimmy Savile in November 1973 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Revelations about Savile only came to light after his death in 2011

A compensation scheme for those who say Jimmy Savile sexually abused them has been sanctioned by the Court of Appeal.

The scheme was set up by the Savile estate, the BBC, the NHS, the charity Barnardo's and lawyers acting for alleged victims. It was approved by the High Court earlier this year.

But the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust, a beneficiary of the estate, said the scheme would not weed out fake claims and too much money would go to lawyers.

Appeal judges dismissed the challenge.

The court also rejected the trust's application for NatWest to be dismissed as the executor of Savile's estate.

Meanwhile, abuse survivors who met Home Secretary Theresa May on Monday said the government was creating £2m fund for groups helping people who will give evidence to the forthcoming public inquiry into abuse, and a separate £1.5m fund for charities which help abuse survivors.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood said it was represented at the meeting, but the Home Office has not yet announced any details.

Image caption Savile's estate is believed to be worth around £3.3m after costs

Court of Appeal judges heard that Savile, who died in October 2011, was accused of being a "serial child abuser and sex offender" in a documentary broadcast in October 2012.

The former BBC presenter was also alleged to have abused people in hospitals.

The court heard that a "large number" of people had come forward to say they were abused by him following the programme.

The number of people making compensation claims was now more than 200, lawyers said.

In February, victims were advised that, under the compensation scheme, they could make claims against the Savile estate, the BBC or the NHS, with payments capped at £60,000.

Experts initially put the value of Savile's estate at around £4m. But a "range of expenses" was incurred and the estate's value was reduced to about £3.3m, judges said in February.

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.

"They just want some recognition of what they have been through so they can then be able to move on with their lives. Hundreds of Savile's victims, who are represented by Slater & Gordon, have already signed up to the scheme in the hope that they would receive some form of justice without the need for drawn-out and costly litigation."

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