ITV man says Savile case proves naming alleged sex offenders in press has 'real value' - Press Gazette

ITV man says Savile case proves naming alleged sex offenders in press has 'real value'

The journalist who exposed the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal has revealed: "We didn't do anything the police could not have done themselves."

Mark Williams-Thomas was behind the ITV documentary "The Other Side of Jimmy Savile" which was aired in October and revealed allegations against Savile which have led to some 450 possible victims of the former DJ coming forward.
Speaking to the Sunday Times he revealed how he asked BBC staff if they would mind him picking up a Newsnight investigation into the story which the BBC decided not to air in November 2011. They told him they would not.
The former policeman, 42, has been a journalist for the last 10 years. He revealed that in the weeks after the broadcast of his ITV documentary he received "serious threats". He told the paper: "I have to take precautions because there are some people out there who are not happy".
Savile was  interviewed by police in 2009 over four alleged indecent assaults at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Williams-Thomas believes that if Savile had been named publicly then, other victims would have come forward and he could have faced justice while he was alive.
He added: "So there is a real value in naming people but we also have to be very careful about how we do that."
Under new legislation teachers accused of crimes against children now have automatic anonymity untiil they are charged.
Speaking about the impact of the Leveson report on police-press relations, he said: "We've now got to a position where the police are so reluctant to tell you anything. It's gone too far the other way."



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette