Jimmy Savile sexually abused at least 500 children including a two-year-old, according to an NSPCC study commissioned for BBC Panorama.
Confidential documents examining the extent of ex-BBC presenter Savile’s offending – spanning from the mid-1940s to as recently as 2007 – uncovered that the majority of his alleged victims were between 13-15.
The report detailed that the scale of Savile’s offending inside Broadmoor Hospital was unprecedented and a lot higher than previously thought, with Thames Valley Police having received 16 reports of abuse inside the psychiatric hospital.
Children’s charity the NSPCC has claimed its helpline has received 50 more reports of abuse by Savile since its joint report with the Metropolitan Police was published in January 2013.
These included reports from victims themselves, as well as people who knew victims of abuse and people reporting information, which was considered useful to the ongoing investigations.
“There’s no doubt that Savile is one of the most, if not the most, prolific sex offenders that we at the NSPCC have ever come across,” the NSPCC’s director of child protection Peter Watt told BBC Breakfast.
“What you have is somebody who at his most prolific lost no opportunity to identify vulnerable victims and abuse them.
“Behind these statistics are individual children whose lives were ruined by a man who was an opportunistic sexual predator.”
The pop mogul first became involved with Broadmoor through the League Of Friends charity in the late-1960s and was later given his own set of keys and a house in the grounds.
Trevor Smith, a former Broadmoor manager and former branch chair of the Prison Officers’ Association, said he witnessed Savile at a hospital charity day, exchanging kisses for autographs from young girls.
He told BBC Breakfast: “He (Savile) kissed these girls who were about 13 smack bang on the lips, held his hand behind their neck to pull them forward and he virtually was giving them French kisses.”
The joint BBC investigation between Panorama and The World At One, which airs on Monday on BBC One and BBC Radio 4, asks how the former DJ managed to evade detection for so long and why in 1972 the BBC failed to take suitable action that may have saved hundreds of young people from abuse.
The study describes staff at Broadmoor being star-struck by the presenter and referring to him as ‘Dr Savile’.
The BBC’s internal review into how Savile carried out his sexual tirade over a number of decades has been delayed until later this year.
The Dame Janet Smith review is expected to further uncover hundreds of victims and reveal a culture of obliviousness which “protected” Savile.
It also has emerged that in 1988 health minister Edwina Currie appointed Savile to spearhead a task force which would reduce the tension between the hospitals management and unions.
A confidential Department of Health memo obtained by Panorama suggests that his appointment was being pushed by a senior civil servant.
Main image courtesy of Channel 4 News via YouTube, with thanks.