Sex offender accused in Savile inquiry found dead

Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Pic: Wikimedia Commons

A Lewisham man who had been charged with sex offences in the wake of the inquiry into Jimmy Savile has been found dead in his home.

David Smith, 67, a former driver, was due to stand trial at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.

Smith was the first person to be charged under Operation Yewtree, an investigation set up in the wake of the Savile scandal.

A former driver, he was described in court as having worked for the BBC although the Corporation later said they could find no record of his employment. It is not clear whether Smith is said to have ever worked for Savile.

He was charged with two accounts of indecent assault, two of indecency and one of a serious sex offence.

All of the offences relate to a 12 year-old-boy and took place between June 1 and July 21, 1984.

After he failed to make an appearance in court yesterday, a warrant was issued ordering Smith to attend today.

When officers arrived at Smith’s home in Effingham Road, they found his dead body.

A Metropolitan Police spokesmen said: “At approx 14:20 officers entered the private address and found the body of a man. A forensic medical examiner attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene.”

The cause of death is currently unknown with a post-mortem examinations set to take place soon. Relatives are still to be informed.

The alleged victim’s partner contacted the police after she saw his response to the ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, which was broadcast on October 3 2012.

Smith was a serial sex offender whose first conviction was in 1966. He had 22 convictions for sexual offences against young boys.

Yewtree Operation was set up as an inquiry into allegations of historical sexual abuse that links with the entertainment industry. It emerged as a result of the publicity surrounding Savile, but is not directly connected to him.

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