Jimmy Savile: Adverts advise victims on compensation

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Media captionPeter Garsden, President of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, told BBC Breakfast that claims will face "checks and balances"

People who say they were sexually abused by Jimmy Savile are being advised how they can claim compensation through adverts in newspapers.

Victims will be able to make claims against the Savile estate, the BBC and the NHS, with payments capped at £60,000 each.

So far, about 140 people have come forward claiming they are victims of the former entertainer.

In February, the High Court approved a compensation scheme of more than £3m.

An inquiry by the Metropolitan Police has recorded more than 200 sexual offences committed by him.

The court ordered advertisements be placed in two national newspapers as well as papers on the Channel Islands, which Savile used to visit.

The adverts advise people who have not already applied for compensation to do so in the next six weeks; however, the scheme will stay open for claims for a year.

The claims will be scrutinised by lawyers acting for the estate and for the claimants.

The former BBC DJ, who presented Top Of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It, died in October 2011, aged 84, before the sex abuse allegations came to light.

He is alleged to have abused people over a 60-year period.

Alison Millar, of the law firm Leigh Day, told BBC Radio 5 Live victims would have to provide credible evidence of their abuse to be successful in a claim.

Image copyright Phil Coomes
Image caption The adverts were placed in two national newspapers and titles in the Channel Islands

She said: "The fact that a compensation scheme has been approved doesn't mean that this is a guarantee that anyone who comes forward with a potential claim will get a payment.

"You will need some evidence to show that you were in a situation where Savile will have had the opportunity to abuse you."

'Predatory sex offender'

Peter Garsden, president of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, told BBC Breakfast the claims would be scrutinised with "checks and balances".

He added: "It's not a case of you simply having to fill in a form and you get some money".

Peter Saunders, who founded the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said he believed most of Savile's victims would not come forward because of the "dreadful memories" of what had happened to them.

Image caption Savile hosted Top of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It

He added: "For those who do come forward they are absolutely entitled to some compensation. People who make legitimate claims for this money, one of the things it could do is it could buy them some very good therapy."

In January 2013, a Metropolitan Police report said Savile had been a "prolific, predatory sex offender" who was able to "hide in plain sight" while abusing his victims.

A second report said he could have been prosecuted in 2009 if victims had been taken more seriously.

A criminal investigation, Operation Yewtree, was launched in October 2012.

Child protection consultant Joanna Nicolas questioned the way the compensation process was being handled, saying going to the police should always be a victim's first port of call.

"It almost feels as though we are circumnavigating the important part to get quickly to where the lawyers come on board and where we start talking about money", she said.

"Compensation for victims is not the important part. For most victims, it's about the acknowledgement of what has been done."

As part of a review by the Met, local authorities are investigating claims he abused children at 21 children's homes and schools in England.

The NHS is already investigating 33 hospitals' links with Savile after police passed information to the Department of Health.

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