The British police admitted on Thursday they missed opportunities to investigate sex offender Jimmy Savile while he was still alive and issued a formal apology to the late BBC star’s victims.
The admission follows a 10-month probe into allegations of sexual abuse made against Savile and his close friend, former mayor of Scarborough Peter Jaconelli.
Savile died in 2011 at age 84. A year after his death, it emerged that the television star had abused hundreds of children during his peak as an entertainer. Jaconelli died in 1999.
In a statement from North Yorkshire Police, published on ITV, assistant chief constable Paul Kennedy said: “The available information indicates that, historically, the police missed opportunities to look into allegations against these men whilst they were still alive.” He added: “It is a matter of great regret that, from the outset of the investigation, there was no prospect of true justice being achieved as the suspects are deceased.”
Thirty-five people came forward during Operation Hibiscus, launched earlier this year. Five allegations were related to abuse by Savile between 1979 and 1998 and 32 reports were made against Jaconelli’s actions between 1958 and 1998. Two people said they were abused by both men, the BBC reports.
Savile’s career as a presenter with the BBC spanned decades. He hosted the weekly music show “Top of the Pops” and later his own show, called “Jim’ll Fix It,” which granted children’s wishes.
Savile, often photographed with a cigar and rose-tinted glasses, was known to be eccentric. But in June, the NHS released a report outlining more horrifying details about the star’s activities. It found that Savile had sex with corpses in the mortuary of a Leeds hospital and said he claimed to wear rings that were made from the glass eyes of the dead.