Jimmy Savile abuse claims reach 500, including child aged two

Children's charity NSPCC says Jimmy Savile may be the 'most prolific sex offender' it has ever encountered

Jimmy Saville at The Bupa Great North Run
(Image credit: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The number of reports of abuse by presenter Jimmy Savile has reached more than 500, including an alleged victim aged just two, according to research by the NSPCC.

The children's charity says the DJ may be the "most prolific sex offender" it has ever come across.

The research, carried out for BBC Panorama, found that most of the abuse took place on BBC premises, in hospitals and at children's homes, with most of the alleged victims aged between 13 and 15.

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Peter Watt, director of child protection at the NSPCC, told BBC Breakfast that Savile saw himself as "immune". He added: "Behind these statistics are individual children whose lives were ruined by a man who was an opportunistic sexual predator."

The earliest incident dated back to the mid-1940s, with the most recent in 2007.

An investigation by Panorama and Radio 4's World at One has also unveiled leaked memos that show the extent of Savile's influence at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, where he was appointed to reform the hospital.

The memos suggest that civil servants were so star-struck by the presenter they referred to him as "Dr Savile". Panorama has been told about 16 reports of abuse at the hospital.

One woman claimed Savile had taken her to Broadmoor in 1971 at the age of 14 to sing for the patients. She said the visit was the "scariest experience of my life".

She told the BBC: "He reassured me by putting his arm on my shoulder and rubbing my arm, and then he gave me a cuddle and so he was touching my breasts, and he kissed me and he tried to put his tongue in my mouth."

She said she was later groomed over a two-year period by Savile in his Top of The Pops dressing room.

The BBC has said it is "appalled" at Savile's crimes. The broadcaster and the Department of Health are due to publish reports into Savile later this year.

  • Panorama - Savile: The Power to Abuse is on BBC One on 2 June at 8.30pm

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