It’s been reported today that the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile attempted to set up a residential home for “needy children” and also that he tried to purchase a girls’ school, and of course, in light of the allegations made against him relating to child abuse, the news has a sinister undertone.
The Daily Star claims that Savile tried to convince some of the charities that he worked with to fund his ideas, and adds, “He wanted to turn the old school into a short-stay lodge to give deprived youngsters country breaks, but locals in Axminster, Devon, refused to stump up the money.”
Last night, a charity worker who was involved at the time revealed that Savile “homed in” on Axminster after he had been invited to take part in a sponsored walk in aid of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital’s body scanner appeal in the mid-70s.
The unnamed mann said, “He got really interested and thought he could form a trust and raise the money to buy it…
“He thought it was such a wonderful place. He said it would be ideal as a holiday complex for deprived children and their families.
“I was invited to meet him outside the school because he had heard of my work with a scanner appeal in Axminster.
“He was very jolly, not at all serious, and very difficult to talk to because he was joking so much.
“Basically he wanted others to set up the trust because he said he had other business commitments.
“He kept the plan going for quite a while but in the end was not able to find people locally to take it up for him.
“I think he thought that because of who he was people would just fall in line and do his bidding.”
The Metropolitan Police are currently probing 340 lines of inquiry involving alleged abuse by the late DJ from 1959 to 2006.
Last night, it was also revealed that Savile, who died last year aged 84, “bought the silence” of a teenager he’d allegedly molested for a fiver.
He allegedly lured the 17-year-old – who worked in the kitchen at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Bucks – back to his flat in 1983. He then gave her chocolate before allegedly pinning her to the bed and kissing her.
She pushed him away and fled, and she now claims that when Savile bumped into her in a corridor the next day, he threatened her.
The BBC’s inquiry into Savile’s conduct while he worked for the corporation is ongoing.