Denise Robertson: Savile targeted the vulnerable and the system failed them

A report on Jimmy Savile’s crimes makes shocking reading to say the least as Denise Roberston explains

Mirrorpix Jimmy Savile with a young boy at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary
Jimmy Savile with a young boy at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary

The report on Jimmy Savile’s crimes makes grim reading. In one hospital alone, his victims ranged from five years old to pensioners and included men, women, boys and girls – including some who were reportedly dead.

The youngest alleged victim was just two years old.

Twenty-eight NHS trusts published reports revealing how their patients and staff were habitually abused by Savile.

Fears that he abused children in more than 20 children’s homes and schools are also being investigated.

Last year I talked for two hours on the telephone to a woman who alleged... and I believe her... that she had given birth to his child when she was 13.

Her mother was given money and the baby was adopted. She had spent 20 years trying to trace that baby.

Now she wanted reassurance from me that her greedy sister would not be able to trace the child and sell its story. She is terrified it finds out who fathered it and now accepts that, to protect it, there can be no reunion.

One child repeatedly abused by Jimmy Savile from the age of nine, was so desperate to avoid him she cycled off a bridge, falling 15 feet. Savile tracked her down and sexually assaulted her again as she recovered in a Leeds hospital.

The report alleges the paedophile DJ abused corpses and made jewellery from dead patients’ glass eyes while given free rein across the NHS for almost 50 years. Now the Top of the Pops presenter’s estate is to be used to offer financial recompense to his victims but if the money runs out, the government will step in. In other words, the taxpayer will pay because the system failed vulnerable people.

Impossible to believe that not one single person in authority knew what was happening.

I wouldn’t like their conscience now.

:: Until I read an account of the trial I wondered how Rebekah Brooks could be found innocent.

Now I think I know.

The trial has cost £100m, £40m of it paid by taxpayers.

One hundred and ninety-five police officers were diverted from other duties and yet the case against Brooks was so flawed that it fell to pieces.

One key prosecution witness, who said Brooks had admitted the hacking to her at a dinner party, was later proved not to have met Brooks at the time stated.

Mobile phone evidence against her was discredited when the expert providing it confessed he had got into “a fundamental muddle” and placed people at her home when they were elsewhere.

She was in Dubai when Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked and time differences made her interference in story changes doubtful.

So it went on.

If a case is prepared in such a slapdash fashion it surely defeats justice.

:: On radio an expert said Luis Suarez had not intended to bite his opponent on the pitch.

It had been “an involuntary movement of his mouth when he got excited”.

Her advice was that he “should find something else to do with his mouth at such moments.”

I may be wrong but, watching a tape of the incident, it seemed to me that Suarez weighed up his opponent’s shoulder to decide exactly where to sink his teeth. I think he bites when he is thwarted and believes he can get away with it because he’s just too good to be consigned to the benches.

A four-month ban is a slap on the wrist.

Losing his lucrative sponsorship deals just might have the desired effect.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer