Published on October 28th, 2012 | by admin0
Gary Glitter arrested by police on Jimmy Savile case
Former glam rocker and convicted paedophile bailed after nine hours
Robert Booth, The Guardian
Detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse scandal have arrested Gary Glitter on suspicion of sexual offences in the first of what is likely to be a series of arrests of suspected associates of the late DJ.
The glam rocker, who was a friend of Savile and appeared on his TV shows, was arrested at his London home early on Sunday by Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Yewtree, which is following about 400 lines of inquiry involving 300 victims – mostly young girls but also a few boys – of alleged sexual exploitation by Savile and others.
Glitter was taken into custody at a London police station and held for more than nine hours before being bailed until mid-December pending further inquiries.
The arrest was made amid growing public anger about Savile’s activities and a suspected cover-up by the BBC. Over the weekend the walls and windows of Savile’s cottage in Glencoe, where he once entertained Prince Charles to a private supper, were daubed with “abusive slogans” according to a spokesman for the Northern Constabulary. “Jimmy the beast” and “Worst beast” were painted in black half-a-metre high letters on the side of the building in the Highlands, which was searched last week by police looking for “evidence of any others being involved in any offending with him”.
Glitter, 68, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was filmed leaving his home on Sunday morning, wearing a hat, sunglasses, dark coat and gloves. He was driven away in an unmarked people carrier without commenting.
He has previously denied allegations he was involved in child sex abuse with Savile. He was drawn into the scandal after Karin Ward, a former pupil at Duncroft approved school for girls in Surrey, told the BBC last year that she had seen Glitter having sex with a schoolgirl in Savile’s BBC dressing room while Savile and several other people were there.
Glitter is a convicted paedophile. He was jailed for four months in the UK in 1999 for downloading child porn, and in 2006 for child sex offences in Vietnam where he served two-and-a-half years in prison. Glitter always maintained he was innocent of the charges.
The corporation cancelled plans to broadcast a Newsnight expose of Savile’s sex crimes last year, which included testimony from Ward. Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, has apologised unreservedly to the abused women who spoke to Newsnight but did not have their stories told. He said there would be “no covering our backs” in the BBC’s investigation of the abuse scandal.
“Can it really be the case that no one knew what he was doing?” he asked in an article for the Mail on Sunday. “Did some turn a blind eye to criminality? Did some prefer not to follow up their suspicions because of this criminal’s popularity and place in the schedules? Were reports of criminality put aside or buried? Even those of us who were not there at the time are inheritors of the shame.”
The editor of Newsnight, Peter Rippon, has already stood aside and on Sunday it was claimed that the BBC’s former director general, Mark Thompson, must have known about sex abuse allegations against Savile because they were raised with his office by journalists earlier this year.
In May the BBC was asked by the Sunday Times, under the Freedom of Information Act, to reveal what it knew about exchanges between BBC bosses – including Thompson – about Savile and the Newsnight investigation as well as any contact the BBC had with police over claims that Savile “sexually molested minors on BBC premises in the 1970s”. When it refused to answer, a reporter called Thompson’s office and asked to speak to him about the claims.
Thompson has repeatedly denied having any personal knowledge of the allegations. A spokesman for Thompson, who takes over as chief executive of the New York Times next month, said he was on holiday at the time and “this brief conversation was not relayed to him, either then or subsequently”.
In September, ITV separately emailed the BBC with detailed questions about the findings of its own investigation based on interviews with 10 victims. The broadcaster confirmed the note was forwarded to Thompson’s office, but a spokesman for Thompson said the former director general does “not recall being briefed and took no part in the response to the email”.
Last week police revealed that they were investigating three former BBC bosses from a 1980s TV programme after some of the 130 victims they have interviewed claimed the men were in league with Savile. The publicist Max Clifford said on Saturday that up to 15 celebrities had approached him, fearful that their sexual exploits in the 1960s and 1970s might lead to them being caught up in the police inquiry.
On Sunday evening, Savile’s great-niece told Sky News she believed some members of his family knew of what they called his “dark side” but that they turned a blind eye to it. Caroline Robinson, 49, said she was sexually abused twice by Savile: at a family gathering when she was 12, and again at an engagement party when she was 15.
“It was not as though I was on my own. There were members of the family there as well,” she said. “Jimmy got it down to perfection, where he managed to do it … and nobody noticed.
“After it happened when I was 12, I spoke to my grandmother. I told her what Jimmy had done. Her reply was: ‘It’s only Jimmy, it doesn’t matter, I’ll sort it out’. I think certain members of the family who were closer to him knew what kind of man he was but they kept it secret.”