A POLICE investigation into sexual assault allegations levelled against former broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile five years ago was dropped after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.
• Police dropped attempted proseuction of Sir Jimmy Saville on sexual assault allegations, citing insufficient evidence
• Surrey police had referred the case to the Crown Prosuection Service in 2007
• Allegations directed at late TV presenter date back to 1970s
The CPS confirmed yesterday the matter had been referred to it by Surrey police in 2007.
The late TV presenter, best known for Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, had been interviewed over allegations that he sexually abused schoolgirls dating back to the 1970s.
The development came to light with an ITV documentary due to air tomorrow night in which up to ten women claim they were assaulted by Sir Jimmy, who died in October last year, aged 84.
The programme will allege that Sir Jimmy preyed on teenagers whom he invited to appear on his TV shows.
Surrey Police said in a statement: “In 2007, we received an historic allegation of indecent assault, which is alleged to have occurred at a children’s home in Staines during the 1970s. The allegation was investigated and an individual was interviewed under caution.”
A CPS spokesman added: “Following an investigation by Surrey police, the CPS reviewing lawyer advised police that no further action should be taken due to lack of evidence.”
It is the first time that authorities have revealed Sir Jimmy was questioned over sexual assault allegations.
The interview is believed to have been linked to alleged sexual abuse that occurred at the now-closed Duncroft Approved School for Girls near Staines, Surrey.
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini claimed yesterday that Sir Jimmy had threatened to end his charity work if media outlets went ahead and exposed details of his private life.
Gambaccini, who worked alongside the late entertainer at BBC Radio 1, said he had been “waiting 30 years” for the stories to come to light. He said: “It comes out when he’s dead because Jimmy Savile had an imperial personality in show business. I’m not talking about personal life. You just didn’t mess with Jim.
“He was the governor, because after all he had been the first great club DJ, he had been the originator of Top Of The Pops presentation, and you just let him have his turf.”
Gambaccini added: “None of us were interested in going there, because he was away from us. At social occasions we would all be together, but Jim would not be and he had his own life.”
Peter Rippon, editor of the BBC’s Newsnight programme, is reported to have told journalists investigating Sir Jimmy in late 2011 that they could not broadcast a near-complete film about the entertainer’s alleged abuse of young women.
The ten to 12-minute package had been due to air on the BBC Two programme in December last year, just weeks ahead of Christmas tributes planned to celebrate Sir Jimmy’s career, reports said.
It is unclear how much senior BBC bosses knew about the film and the reasons for axing it.
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen, who worked for the BBC during the 1970s, said she now believed – based on the fresh evidence – that Sir Jimmy had sexually abused underage girls. She said: “We all blocked our ears to the gossip.
“We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise.
“Jim’ll Fix It was for children. He was a sort of god-like figure. Everybody knew of the good that Jimmy did and what he did for children. And these children were powerless.”
Supporters of Sir Jimmy have maintained their defence of the star despite the allegations raised in the ITV documentary, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile.
But film-maker Louis Theroux, who probed the Jim’ll Fix It host’s lifestyle for his Weird Weekends series, said the rumours appeared to have been validated by the women who had come forward.
Mr Theroux said: “What is especially disturbing is the nature of the alleged abuse – the fact that it apparently took place repeatedly, in the workplace and at a school he was visiting, and that it may have been known to his bosses and co-workers.
“My thoughts are with the victims. I hope they find peace.”
The late broadcaster’s nephew Roger Foster said the family was “disgusted and disappointed” at the claims being levelled against his uncle, with Sir Jimmy no longer alive to defend himself.