Police delay Savile and Hall report


Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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Publication of Dame Janet Smith’s report into how Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall carried out campaigns of abuse over decades at the BBC has been postponed at the request of the Metropolitan Police.

The report, which was compiled after the investigation interviewed 375 witnesses in connection with Savile and more than 100 about Hall, was due to be published in the second half of this month.

A statement released today by the review team said the report was “now finished”.

It went on: ” However, the Metropolitan Police has told the review that it is concerned that publication of the report now could prejudice its ongoing investigations into sexual abuse. As a result, Dame Janet has taken the decision that publication of the report (and its delivery to the BBC) should be delayed. The BBC is aware of, and accepts, this decision.

“The decision to delay publication has been made reluctantly. 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 r eport 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.

“Publication will take place as soon as possible. As soon as a date for publication is known, an update will be provided.”

The review team have ” been in contact” with 775 people as part of the investigation and are expected to uncover hundreds of victims and reveal a culture of ignorance which “protected” Savile.

Another report, published in February, said NHS hospitals had still not fully learned the lessons of the Savile scandal.

It said the depraved entertainer was given “endorsement from the very highest level of society” after then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher appointed him in an official fundraising role at Stoke Mandeville Hospital where he raped or assaulted at least 63 patients, staff and visitors.

Savile was given open access to the Buckinghamshire hospital while volunteering as a porter from 1969, and despite claims about his horrific behaviour being widespread by the early 1970s senior staff were never told of his “wicked” crimes, many of them against desperately ill children.

It’s A Knockout host Hall was jailed for two-and-a-half years last year after he was convicted by a jury at Preston Crown Court of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 16 and earlier pleading guilty to another indecent assault on the same girl when she was 13.

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

Members of the review team visited the court during Hall’s trial and also visited the Shepherds Bush Empire Theatre, which was owned by the BBC, and Television Centre.

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.”

Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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