Late UK TV star Savile said to have sexually abused dead bodies

Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:21am EDT
 
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Jimmy Savile, the late BBC TV presenter revealed two years ago to have been one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders, might have sexually abused dead bodies in a hospital where he worked as a volunteer, health investigators said on Thursday.

In 2012 police said Savile, one of the Britain's best-known celebrities in the 1970s and 1980s, had sexually abused hundreds of victims, mainly youngsters, at hospitals and at BBC premises over six decades until his death aged 84 in 2011.

A series of reports covering 28 hospitals where he had worked showed Savile had used his fame and charitable work to get unsupervised access to patients, raping and sexually abusing boys, girls, men and women aged between five and 75 in wards, corridors and offices.

"As a nation at that time, we held Savile in our affection as a somewhat eccentric national treasure with a strong commitment to charitable causes," Britain's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament.

"Today's reports show that in reality he was a sickening and prolific sexual abuser who repeatedly exploited the trust of a nation for his own vile purposes."

In one disclosure, it was reported that Savile, who had publicly spoken of his fascination with the dead, had sexually abused bodies in the mortuary of Leeds General Infirmary in northern England, taking advantage of his role as a volunteer porter.

"The allegations about his behavior in the mortuary are incredibly harrowing and disturbing," Sue Proctor, who led the investigation at Leeds, told reporters.

She said Savile, a one-time professional wrestler who became famous as a pioneering DJ in the 1960s, gave the account of his actions at the mortuary to a student nurse who worked at a different hospital.   Continued...

 
Disgraced British entertainer Jimmy Savile is seen arriving at the unveiling of a new monument, commemorating the fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain, in London in this September 18, 2005 file photograph.REUTERS/Paul Hackett/Files