Fresh Savile link to Islington child abuse scandal
PUBLISHED: 06:45 20 November 2014 | UPDATED: 14:19 26 May 2017
An expert “firmly believes” child-abusing TV presenter Jimmy Savile was linked to Islington’s notorious paedophile scandal, following new revelations.
It emerged this week a leading antiques expert from Holloway, who appeared on television with Savile, was a senior member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) – according to confidential social services reports seen by Radio 4’s Today programme.
Keith Harding, who had a workshop in Hornsey Road for many years, was a guest on a Christmas edition of Jim’ll Fix It to mend a 13-year-old girl’s music box, which her brother says was a “set-up” by the production team.
Dr Liz Davies, who originally blew the whistle on the borough’s paedophile ring, says this, alongside an investigation into an unnamed Islington children’s home launched by the Department for Education (DfE) in March, amounted to proof.
She said: “I firmly believe there was a link between Savile and Islington children’s homes.
“This is just another way he ties in. There is one victim, who is too scared even to talk to me, who remembers being driven round the borough by Savile in a taxi. So much paedophilia was going on in the borough at the time. PIE was very much based here, and another international paedophile ring was in Davenant Road [Upper Holloway].
“There was a culture of it at the time. A lot of it was very overt, and they were furiously infiltrating the libertarian and gay rights moments, of which there were lots in Islington.”
Harding, who died in June, was said to have been convicted of indecent assault against four children aged eight and nine in the late 1950s and was a “schedule 1” offender – meaning his convictions remained on his police file for life.
Dr Davies said: “I just wish I had known he was at that workshop for all those years.
“I knew nothing about him, although he was very upper class and mixed in those sorts of circles. I haven’t had any reports of Islington children being taken to his address.
“I’d like to know who in Islington knew him and did have contact with him?
“We found out a couple of years before he died. It’s such a shame it takes so long because now he will never face the music.”
A spokesman for the DfE said the Savile investigations, including relating to the Islington children’s home, were expected to be published in January.