Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Location: One breath from Glory
|Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:07 am Post subject: Savile's Chauffeur David Smith Found Dead Before Trial
|Of course the usual police statement "they are not treating it as suspicious" even before forensic tests have been carried out. This guy would have held a lot of knowledge that could take others down.
|A former driver charged with sex offences as part of the investigation triggered by allegations of abuse against Jimmy Savile has been found dead.
David Smith, 66, was the first person to be charged by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Operation Yewtree investigation.
He had pleaded not guilty in July to two counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency on a child following his arrest in December.
But he failed to turn up at Southwark Crown Court in London on Monday for the start of his trial, prompting police to go to his home in Effingham Road, Lewisham.
Scotland Yard said: "At approximately 14:20 officers entered the address and found the body of a man. A FME (forensic medical examiner) attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Next of kin are being informed."
Smith's barrister, Sandy Canavan, had told the court she was "concerned" that her solicitor had been unable to contact him ahead of the trial as she had regularly been in touch with him.
She told the court Smith was the sole carer for his elderly mother.
Police have separated the Yewtree investigation into three parts, the first concerned with the actions of Savile, while the second concerns allegations against what has become known as 'Savile and others'.
Smith was investigated under the third strand, concerning accusations of sexual abuse unconnected to Savile, but made by people who came forward following publicity surrounding the Savile allegations.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:18 am Post subject:
|most comprehensive report I could find was in the Mail
Savile's convicted paedophile BBC driver found dead on day he was due to stand trial for sex crimes uncovered in Yewtree probe
• David Smith, 67, was chauffeur to Savile and other celebrities in 1980s
• Apparent suicide on the eve of his court appearance
• Officers found him dead at his home in Lewisham, south-east London
• Smith had 22 previous convictions for sexual abuse against young boys
• Judge closes case against Smith this morning
• Probe: Smith was the first person to be charged under Operation Yewtree, the national investigation prompted after claims were made against disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile
Daily Mail - By REBECCA CAMBER and LIZZIE PARRY
PUBLISHED: 23:02, 28 October 2013 | UPDATED: 18:32, 29 October 2013
A former BBC driver found dead in an apparent suicide ahead of his child sex abuse trial has 'cheated' his victim of justice, a leading lawyer has today said.
The body of David Smith, 67, chauffeur to disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile and other celebrities during the 1980s, was found at his south-east London home, on Monday - the eve of his court appearance.
It has emerged the former driver was a prolific sex offender with a string of previous convictions for sexual offences against young boys, dating back to 1966, on his criminal record.
Alan Collins, a leading child abuse lawyer, acting for about 60 of Savile's victims, told the Evening Standard: 'This was the chance for the client to be vindicated and be believed, and he will feel cheated of that.
'It is a major blow for the victim, he doesn't get to see justice being done.
'Victims have a misplaced sense of guilt, for this to happen does have a major psychological impact.'
Mr Collins, of Pannone solicitors, said victims often have to psych themselves up to face their abusers at court.
He said something like the suicide of the accused could leave a victim grappling with mixed emotions, feeling a sense of guilt about what has happened.
Meanwhile Fiona Ellis, co-founder of Survivors in Transition, a group which aims to help people rebuild their lives in the wake of historic child sex abuse, said: ‘He was a coward and will never face justice.
‘He will never have to experience court or face judgement.
‘His victim is likely to have had to endure many difficult and painful interviews.
‘It is so rare that a case actually makes it to court and therefore a feeling of injustice is a big issue for the survivors of childhood sex abuse.
‘Quite often they have experienced layers of injustice throughout their life leading to deep-rooted issues around validation and belief.’
Police officers were called to Smith’s address after receiving a court summons on Monday at 1pm, when he failed to appear for trial.
A team of detectives discovered his body in his third-floor council flat in Lewisham, south-east London, shortly after breaking in at 2.20pm.
Last night a spokesman said: ‘Police attended a private address in Effingham Road, Lewisham on Monday 28 October as a man had failed to appear at Southwark Crown Court today.
‘At approximately 2.20pm officers entered the address and found the body of a man. A forensic medical examiner attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Next of kin are being informed.
‘Whilst officers believe they know the identity of the deceased, they await confirmation of formal identification.’
The cause of death is not yet known and the results of a post-mortem are expected imminently.
Smith, of Effingham Road, Lewisham, failed to turn up at Southwark Crown Court for the start of his trial yesterday.
He faced two counts of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child, and one of serious sexual assault, all relating to a 12-year-old boy, between June 1 and July 21, 1984. At a court appearance in July, Smith pleaded not guilty to all offences.
Judge Alastair McCreath today ordered that the file on the case should be closed.
He heard from Detective Constable Michael Wallace, the officer in the case who identified the body, that it was the same man as charged in the indictment.
The former driver was registered as a full-time carer for his 95-year-old mother. It is understood she was not at the flat at the time police made the discovery. She was told of her son's death last night.
It was initially thought the bad weather resulting from the violent St Jude's storm which tore across southern England yesterday morning, could have caused Smith's no-show at court at 10.30am yesterday.
A warrant was issued for his arrest after defence barrister Sandy Canavan raised concerns that her client had not appeared, without any explanation and despite repeated attempts to contact him by phone.
She said: ‘He has been regularly in contact, I am concerned at the lack of contact. He is the sole carer for his very aged and very unwell mother, that may have affected why he’s not here today.’
Judge McCreath said: ‘He needs to be here, if his mother’s poorly or not.’
He issued a bench warrant, backed for bail, with the condition that he surrender to the court by 9.30am today, with the case to be listed for 10am.
Smith was the first person to be charged under Operation Yewtree, the national investigation prompted after claims were made against disgraced TV presenter Savile.
David Smith had been convicted of a string of sexual offences against young boys dating back to 1966
Convicted: David Smith had a string of past sexual offences against young boys on his criminal record
He was due to be the first of those arrested under the operation, which was launched in October last year, to face a jury.
It was said Smith met his victim at a swimming pool and invited him back to his flat where he sexually abused him.
He also took the boy on a visit to the BBC studios at White City in west London. The boy claimed he was indecently assaulted during the journey.
Smith was arrested on December 10, last year, after his victim's partner contacted police after she saw his response to the ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile - broadcast on October 3, 2012.
He was later bailed and 11 days later the case was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service. On April 3, following further police inquiries requested by the CPS, Smith was charged.
A previous attempt to snare Smith in 2002 had failed when police could not find him, despite the fact he was in prison at the time.
Smith was a prolific sex offender. His criminal record reveals 22 convictions for sexual offences against young boys dating back to the first in 1966, the BBC reported.
Scotland Yard has led the probe, separating its investigations into three strands. The first focuses on Savile's crimes, while a second relates to allegations against Savile and others.
The third strand - the one under which Smith was being investigated - concerns accusations which have emerged as a result of the publicity surrounding Savile, but which are unconnected to the pervert DJ.
Operation Yewtree was launched by police after the ITV documentary interviewed victim's of Savile's abuse.
The programme led to 600 people coming forward with information about historic cases of abuse - three-quarters of which related to Savile, who was 84 when he died in 2011.
Savile's crimes spanned 54 years and the scale of abuse was 'believed to be unprecedented in the UK'.
At the time of Smith's arrest, BBC News reported that he had worked as a driver for the broadcaster and possibly other employers.
But a BBC press office spokesman said she was unable to confirm whether he had been formally employed by the organisation, as the Corporation's records do not go back as far as 1984.
A BBC spokesman said: 'On searches carried out to date, we have not found any record of David Smith being employed by or working for the BBC.
'We have been assisting the police in relation to David Smith and will continue to do so.'
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung