Jimmy Savile driver found dead after assault allegations
67-year-old former BBC driver, David Smith, has been discovered dead after his failure to attend Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
Smith’s barrister, Sandy Cavanan, expressed her concerns to the court after her solicitor had been unable to get in touch with him prior to the hearing. His failure to appear prompted police to issue a warrant for his arrest; they swiftly went to his home on Effingham Road in Lewisham, London.
Smith had previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency in July. However his first convicted sexual offence was in 1966 and he went on to have approximately 22 convictions for sex offences against young boys.
He was also the first person to be charged under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree, developed in the wake of the Savile scandal to investigate historical sex abuse tied in with the entertainment industry.
Yewtree is made up of three strands: one devoted to Savile’s sex crimes alone, the second to allegations against Savile and others, and the third focuses on accusations that surfaced as a result of the media coverage surrounding Savile.
David Smith was charged under the third strand and his trial on Monday concerned the alleged abuse of a 12-year-old boy in 1984.
It was claimed Smith met his victim at a swimming pool, and invited him back to his flat afterwards. It was here that he is alleged to have sexually assaulted him. He also accompanied the boy on a visit to the BBC Studios in White City, West London. His victim also claims he was abused on the journey.
ITV documentary The Other Side of Jimmy Savile prompted the victim’s partner to alert police after she witnessed her spouse’s response to the programme in October 2012.
The sole carer to his own elderly mother, and former chauffeur to Jimmy Savile, Smith was found in the afternoon and his cause of death remains unknown.
Scotland Yard, leaders of Yewtree investigations, commented: “At approximately 14:20 officers entered the address and found the body of a man. An FME (forensic medical examiner) attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Next of Kin are being informed.”
A post mortem examination is due to take place to deduce further answers about the cause of David Smith’s death.