UK & World News
Savile's Fame And Vanity Made 'Perfect Storm'
Jimmy Savile's vanity and celebrity status created a "perfect storm" of opportunity for him to abuse children, according to one of Britain's top criminologists.
Professor David Wilson told Sky News that Savile's fame coupled with his standing as a BBC presenter allowed him to "express his narcissism in the institutions he had access to".
His comments come as details emerge from a police report following a 10-week inquiry into Savile's history of sexual abuse.
"Savile's sexual needs came first which we can interpret from the types of crimes he's alleged to have committed," said Professor Wilson.
"Overwhelmingly what seems to drive some of this is narcissism. This idea that he is at the heart of everything that needs to be said and done.
"Once you have this narcissism, he's almost this 'perfect storm' because of his fame and celebrity, validation by the Royal Family and the BBC.
"This allows him to take that narcissism - which might have been very contained had he not had those types of validation - and express it in every institution he had access to."
Professor Wilson added that Savile was a "very odd" type of sexual offender as his victims appear to have been unselective.
He added the case was a watershed moment for young people who find it difficult to convince adults that they have been victims of sexual abuse
"With paedophiles I usually deal with someone with a fixated interested in one victim. With Savile, it was an indiscriminate interest in boys, girls, men and women. This is a very odd type of offender.
"Many of the paedophiles I work with, their peak age of offending will be in their 40s and 50s. Savile continued to offend when he was an elderly man. This was an ingrained, lifelong behaviour.
"I've worked with children who have been sexually abused and the one thing they get really upset about is that nobody was prepared to believe them.
"In the 60s and 70s the word of a child would never be accepted against the word of an adult. The Savile case draws a line in the sand where you begin to see the word of a child as equally valid as that of an adult.
"The scale of abuse, in terms of the numbers of victims and institutions, pales into secondary importance when you consider that bigger issue of believing children when they report issues of this kind.
"That's the watershed with Savile. We're beginning to see that subtle change."
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