A High Court judge has approved a compensation scheme for victims of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile. Mr Justice Sales sanctioned the scheme - agreed between the executor of Savile's estate and lawyers representing alleged victims - at a High Court hearing in London today.
The judge also dismissed an attempt to replace the NatWest bank as executor of the Savile estate. A solicitor representing alleged victims said after the hearing that the scheme would not guarantee payouts but would provide a framework within which claims could be analysed.
She said the BBC and NHS also supported the scheme and the aim was to avoid litigation. "This is a great result for the victims of Jimmy Savile," added Liz Dux, who works for law firm Slater & Gordon. The ratification of the scheme should allow the quickest possible closure to this horrific affair for those who were abused."
She went on: "This process has already taken some considerable time and the victims, more than anything else, want redress and recognition for the terrible abuse they suffered at the hands of this predatory sex offender. Today there is a definite light at the end of this very dark tunnel and that is reason for the victims to take heart."
Lawyers say around 140 people have made compensation claims. And Mr Justice Sales said anyone who thought that they had a claim should come forward. The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust - the major beneficiary of the estate, thought to be worth around £4 million - had wanted the bank replaced as executor.
Trust bosses said they were unhappy with the bank's performance as executor and suggested that compensation issues had not been fully thought through. They told the judge that a new administrator should be appointed.
Mr Justice Sales dismissed the trust's application - and approved the compensation scheme - at the end of a three-day hearing. He said he would give detailed reasons for his decision at a later date.
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