A victim has revealed how Jimmy Savile acted like a ‘kid in a candy store’ as he cherry-picked his victims at her boarding school.
Kat Ward, who was one of the first women to report Savile, first encountered the monster in 1974, aged just 14, when he paid a visit to Duncroft, an ‘approved school for intelligent but emotionally disturbed girls.’
In Discovery+ documentary Faking It: Jimmy Savile, the survivor details how he would then take his victims for lifts in his Rolls Royce before abusing them with his ‘wandering hands’ – and would often give his ’emotionally disturbed’ favourites an ice cream, allowing them to sit in the front.
Kat also went on to say his celebrity status to access and abuse vulnerable girls at his will.
‘Once he realised what sort of establishment Duncroft was, he was just like a kid in a candy store,’ says Kat, who is the author of Victim Zero. ‘These girls were vulnerable, these girls were damaged, and he went through girl after girl after girl.’
Kat Ward (pictured), who was one of the first women to report Savile, tells how she first encountered Savile in 1974, aged just 14, when he paid a visit to Duncroft in tonight’s episode of Faking It: Jimmy Savile
Kat was a guest on Jimmy Savile’s BBC Saturday variety show Clunk Click back in 1974 with comedian Freddie Starr. At the time schoolgirl she was only 15 years old
The survivor details how Savile would take his victims for lifts in his Rolls Royce (pictured) before abusing them with his wandering hands’
Speaking of the trips in his Rolls Royce, Kat recalls: ‘He’d bring boxes of the latest top 10 records and cigarettes, makeup, perfume, all the things teenage girls would like. Then he’d take us for a ride in his swanky Rolls Royce car.
‘The one he wanted to spend time with would sit with their ice cream in the front. That’s when you would get an attack of wandering hands or worse.’
As Kat reveals, Savile took an interest in her, and used his showbiz status to coerce and abuse her.
‘Quite often he would choose me, I have no idea why. I ended up fellating him because he promised me that if I did, I could go to London and be on the stage on his television show,’ she says.
‘At the time, I didn’t see that as any kind of abuse. As far as I was concerned it was reasonable payment for what he was offering, because my mindset was that of a damaged individual.’
Jimmy Savile, who was the face of some of the BBC’s most iconic programmes, including Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, used his power, influence and showbiz connections to gain access to and abuse countless children for over 50 years.
Kat first encountered Savile in 1974, aged just 14, when he paid a visit to Duncroft (pictured), an ‘approved school for intelligent but emotionally disturbed girls’
Kat (pictured) reveals that Savile took her to the BBC Television studios, where his brazen attacks would allegedly continue, even just before he was due to go on set
It was only after his death in 2011, aged 84, that his reign of terror would come to light – and he went from from beloved entertainer to maligned sexual predator.
Kat reveals that Savile took her to the BBC Television studios, where his brazen attacks would allegedly continue, even just before he was due to go on set.
‘He had a curtained area off on one side, he said that is where he got changed. He tended to ask you to come and sit on his knee,’ she reveals. ‘You’d sit on his knee and he’d juggle his leg.
‘Because he only wore his tracksuit without underwear, you were aware of the male parts becoming hard and it was quite unpleasant.’
Kat was just one of hundreds of young and vulnerable people that Savile preyed upon.
As Gabrielle Shaw, CEO of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, notes, Savile’s web of abuse spans to almost incomprehensible numbers.
‘They recorded 214 crimes against Savile, and these included over 124 indecent assaults and up to 32 rape or penetration offences,’ she says. ‘I think you can comfortably multiply that by a factor of 10 because many people we know will not come forward. So, you get a picture of a sexual predator who operated over a number of decades.’
Not letting the mask slip, Savile was knighted in 1990. Remembering Savile on the news following his knighthood, Kat recalls the disgust she felt at seeing her abuser not just continue to groom his victims but groom the nation as well.
‘I was absolutely steaming livid. I can remember those pictures so vividly on the telly and how smug he was. I thought ‘my God, he’s even taken in the Royal Family and the Queen,’ she says.
‘But I’d see him be trumpeted as this wonderful person, this fundraiser, this selfless saint: Saint Jimmy. That’s not really who he is. He’s a pervert, is what he is.’
For over five decades, he was the biggest name in British showbusiness – presenting shows including Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It (pictured in 2009)
Jimmy Savile attending the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ Cruise Liner naming ceremony in Southampton, on 11 Octtober 2010
To protect his image and hide the truth, Savile was prepared to bully his victims into keeping quiet.
‘There was a tabloid newspaper that was going to expose him. They had two survivors who were good, credible witnesses from the Duncroft school for approved children,’ Johnathan Maitland reveals.
One of which was Kat Ward, who recalls the arrogant, threatening response she received from Savile’s camp.
‘At least two others said, ‘I’m going to tell.’ And he would say ‘Oh are you, really? Go on then. Who’s going to believe you over me? I’m world famous I am. I do loads for charity. Everybody loves old Jimmy. You go ahead, you go and tell if you want.’
Savile’s arrogance and misogyny prevailed as he shut down the newspaper expose on his sordid activities.
‘Savile and his lawyers said, ‘well look, what you’ve got is two dirty slags,’ that’s how Savile referred to them,’ Jonathan Maitland says.
‘Two dirty s*** in an approved school for girls because they are unreliable, how’s that going to play out with a starstruck jury? I have, as character references, Charles and Di, Mrs Thatcher and the Pope. So good luck with that.’
It was only after Savile’s death in 2011 that the allegations against Savile came to light in the mainstream media.
By 2012, police were pursuing 400 lines of inquiry based on testimony from 200 witnesses, describing abuse on an unprecedented scale. Thanks to the testimony of survivors like Kat Ward, the investigation into Savile – Operation Yewtree – was a watershed moment in how victims of sexual abuse are treated.
As Forensic Psychologist Kerry Daynes puts it, it is one of the most significant moments in British criminal history.
‘It was when the penny finally dropped that sex offenders don’t meet this nice, neat stereotype that we think they meet. They’re not all strange loners, they can be people who are successful, powerful, well-loved,’ she says.
‘He got away with it because as well as being an abuser he was also entertaining to watch on TV and he did good work for charity. He was able to charm people.’
Faking It: Jimmy Savile is available to stream now exclusively on discovery+