Savile victims to seek damages

LONDON: About 50 victims of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile are set to seek damages from the late broadcaster's estate and from organisations including the BBC and Britain's health service, their lawyer said.

A report by British police on Friday said Savile ''groomed the nation'' over six decades, hiding behind his fame to assault girls, boys and adult women on BBC premises and in schools and hospitals. Liz Dux, a lawyer representing more than 50 of Savile's victims, said that because Savile had died in 2011 aged 84, civil claims were the only way that they could get justice.

''Compensation is not at the forefront of their mind, but of course it's the only method of recompense that we can get for them now, given that he can't be prosecuted,'' she said.

Ms Dux said they would consider making claims against Savile's heirs, against the BBC - the publicly-funded British broadcaster that made Savile one of its biggest stars in the 1970s and 1980s - and the state-run National Health Service. ''We now have to look at what was known in the organisations. Once these inquiries have taken place, then we will be able to make progress with the civil claims.''

In the three-month investigation by police and the NSPCC children's charity, it emerged that Savile used his fame as presenter of BBC TV's Top of the Pops chart show and children's program Jim'll Fix It to allegedly assault victims on BBC premises as well as in schools and hospitals where he did charity work.

The report recorded 214 criminal offences, including 34 rapes - 28 of them of children. Three-quarters of the victims were children, mostly girls aged between 13 and 16, but the youngest was an eight-year-old boy.

Agence France-Presse