A minister has been slammed after defending paedophile Jimmy Savile – claiming his alleged victims are simply trying to make a fast buck.
Reverend Dr John Cameron, from St Andrews, Fife, claimed the public had over-intensified the scandal with one of their “periodical fits of morality”.
The comments come despite hundreds of claims that the star raped and molested children as young as 12 – while using his charity work to get access to childrens’ homes and hospitals where he carried out the crimes.
Scotland Yard is pursing more than 340 lines of inquiry. Commander Peter Spindler of the Met Police said Savile’s pattern of offending behaviour appeared to be on “a national scale” and he had a “predilection for teenage girls”.
But in a shockingly insensitive open letter, Rev Cameron, said he found it disgusting that people would wait for Savile to die before making up stories.
He claimed they had “the clear intention of being compensated” by charities of the late DJ.
“I don’t like witch hunts. They turn into mass hysteria and run out of hard evidence,” he wrote.
“I’m not saying that it didn’t happen but some of the claims are strange. I think it’s gone too far now.”
The minister’s support of the former BBC star has been slammed by furious victim support groups.
Marnie Collins, manager at the Kingdom Abuse Survivors Project, said: “In all of my work I could count on one hand the number of people looking for monetary compensation.
“Victims are not looking for money but to have their experience validated.
“There is still a stigma attached to abuse and a lot of people try and block it out.
“They don’t want to face what has happened to them.”
She added that victims often do not come forward until after their abuser has died as they are not confident enough.
“There is still a power dynamic. Sometimes it is other things and they wait for a family member to die as they don’t want to affect their own families,” she said.
Marie McAllister, a support worker at the Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre, said: “From our experience people do not come forward for money. That is a fallacy.”
The Reverends’ claims come as yet another woman said she had been abused by Savile.
The unnamed woman, who is now in her 50s, has told Cambridgeshire Constabulary she was abused by the late TV presenter when she was at school in the 1970s.
She claims Savile took advantage of her on two occassions at the now closed Duncroft Approved School for Girls in Staines, Middlesex, where he was a regular visitor.
Savile was questioned in 2007 over allegations of abuse at the school, but the Crown Prosecution Service advised there was insufficient evidence to bring any charges.
The woman, from Cambridgeshire, has now reported her allegations to police.
A Cambridgeshire Constabulary spokeswoman yesterday said they have passed the case to the Metropolitan Police who are investigating the alleged string of abuse.
She said: “We have received one complaint against Jimmy Savile.
“The allegations relate to two incidents in Middlesex during the 1970s.
“The victim, a Cambridgeshire woman, has spoken to officers and the case will
be passed to the Met Police.”
Other pupils, who were also at Duncroft school, a children’s home, have waived their anonymity and told of their memories of Savile offering them sweets, clothes and BBC tickets.
Carole Wells, now 52, said the Jim’ll Fix It star was invited to the school by its then headteacher and regularly offered to take pupils for a ride in his car.
At least five former pupils of the Duncroft school have reported abuse to police and the Met Police has said it has 340 “active lines of inquiry” and 60 potential victims have come forward.
Meanwhile, a hospital cafe named after disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile will be renamed, it was confirmed yesterday (Weds).
The Stoke Mandeville Hospital cafe named “Jimmy’s” was opened by Savile in 2005 following his years of fundraising for the spinal injuries unit at the site.
Now the volunteering charity WRVS, which runs the cafe, has confirmed it has agreed with the hospital to rename it Cafe@WRVS.
David McCullough, chief executive at WRVS said: “WRVS and Stoke Mandeville Hospital have agreed that Jimmy’s Cafe will be renamed Cafe@WRVS, aligning it with other WRVS cafes across the country.”
A spokeswoman added it would change the sign, which is white neon and in the shape of Savile’s signature, “as soon as possible”.
Savile worked at Stoke Mandeville Hospital as a volunteer porter from 1969 and began his charity work for the hospital three years later.
The Metropolitan Police believe Savile, who died in October 2011 aged 84, may have sexually abused 60 people since 1959.