London

BBC Savile abuse: Dame Janet Smith review delayed

Jimmy Savile in November 1973 Image copyright Getty Images

Publication of a report into how Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall abused people while at the BBC has been delayed.

Dame Janet Smith's review is finished, the team working on it has confirmed.

However, the Metropolitan Police said publishing findings could hamper ongoing investigations into sexual abuse claims.

Publication is to take place "as soon as possible", the report's authors said.

'Disappointment'

Investigators interviewed 375 witnesses in connection with Savile and more than 100 about Hall - findings had been due to be published in the second half of this month.

A statement released by the review team said: "Dame Janet recognises that a further delay will be of particular disappointment to victims of Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall whose accounts are in the report and other witnesses before the review, to all of whom she is very grateful.

"However, it is important that the Metropolitan Police's investigations should not be prejudiced."

Dame Janet Smith's review has been looking at how Savile and Hall abused people over decades while working at the BBC.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Stuart Hall was convicted of 14 charges of indecent assault in May 2013

It was set up in October 2012 by the BBC to examine the culture and practices of the corporation during the years Savile worked there after the former presenter was revealed to be a prolific sexual predator.

Shortly after Hall was convicted of 14 charges of indecent assault in May 2013, the BBC announced a further investigation into the former It's a Knockout presenter, which will feed into Dame Janet's review.

Liz Dux, abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, which represents 168 victims of Savile and Hall, said: "This will come as bitterly disappointing news to the victims of Savile and Hall.

"They desperately want the last of the investigations to be published and to be able to move on with their lives.

"Naturally, they do not want to prejudice any outstanding investigation.

"But given the amount of time that has elapsed since they gave their testimonies, they will question why police investigations are taking so long."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dame Janet's review will examine the culture at the BBC at the time Hall and Savile worked there

In May 2014, Hall was sentenced to an extra two years and six months in prison for two counts of indecently assaulting a girl.

He was already serving a 30-month jail term after he pleaded guilty in 2013 to indecently assaulting 13 other girls, aged between nine and 17, over a 20-year period.

A report concluded in February that Savile had abused at least 63 people connected to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

In April, Surrey Police said 22 pupils and one visitor had been sexually abused by him at a school for emotionally disturbed teenage girls.

Related Topics

More on this story