‘Jimmy Savile abused me on Southsea Common’

Jimmy Saville
Jimmy Saville

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A MAN has come forward to say he was sexually assaulted by Jimmy Savile while he was on holiday in Southsea in the 1970s.

The alleged victim, who is now middle-aged, said the television presenter approached him on Southsea Common during the summer of 1972 and assaulted him.

The man, who is not from Portsmouth, has gone to Alan Collins, a solicitor who specialises in sexual abuse cases for Pannone Solicitors.

He cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Collins says he is taking the allegation ‘extremely seriously’ and is dealing with it in the same way he would with any other case of child abuse.

As previously reported in The News, Mr Collins, a partner in the legal firm, is taking evidence from 12 men and women who claim to have been abused by Savile, who was famous as a Radio One DJ, presenter of Jim’ll Fix It and charity fundraiser.

As well as the Southsea case, Mr Collins is examining ones where the BBC star allegedly abused children at the Haut de La Garenne children’s home in Jersey and at a special needs school thought to be in south-east England.

Mr Collins, who worked as a solicitor at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court between 1992 and 2002, said: ‘We are taking this man’s claim very seriously and are treating it as a normal child abuse case.

‘The allegation concerns Southsea Common and what we want to know from people is what Jimmy Savile was doing there in the summer of 1972.

‘We are hoping members of the public will remember and come forward and tell us.’

The allegation follows reports that more than 200 people have come forward and said Savile abused them.

Yesterday BBC Newsnight editor Peter Rippon stepped down from his role while an inquiry looks into why the programme scrapped its report into the claims last year. The BBC said his explanation as to why the show dropped its investigation into the late DJ and TV presenter was ‘inaccurate or incomplete in some respects’ and has corrected his statement.

It said: ‘The BBC regrets these errors and will work with the Pollard Review to assemble all relevant evidence to enable the review to determine the full facts.’

A criminal inquiry is also under way after police said Savile may have carried out acts of sexual abuse over a 40-year period.

Mr Collins, who lives in Hampshire, deals with serious personal injury cases as well as ones to do with child abuse.

He said: ‘I know Portsmouth quite well. When I got the call from the man about this my first reaction was complete shock. But at the same time I thought “gosh, here we go again”, another case to do with Savile.

‘Every one of these allegations is horrendous. At first you think they just can’t be true.’