Criminologist and former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas - whose 2012 ITV documentary exposed Jimmy Savile as a prolific paedophile - has shared his concerns over Netflix’s new documentary.
Williams-Thomas has warned the series, titled Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story, may be harmful to Savile’s many victims.
Speaking on Monday, Williams-Thomas expressed concern that Netflix’s doc puts victims in a painful position.
Savile died in October 2011 at the age of 84, having never been brought to justice.
Speaking on Monday’s This Morning, Williams-Thomas said: “My slight worry is that it sensationalises it rather than demonise him as an individual.
“I do worry as far as victims go, it’s one of the things that strongly gets criticised now when the story’s talked about, [is] seeing his face - his picture on the front page.”
He continued: “When we started looking at this, the Metropolitan police came to see me three days after the case hit the headlines, and I remember sitting with [an officer] in ITV Towers, and he said to me, ‘I reckon there’s probably 30 victims’, and I said ‘more like 500’.
“Of course, that’s what it turned out to be. But for those victims to see his face consistently over and over again, that is very traumatic for them.
“And what we mustn’t forget, of course, is that it’s great to tell a story, but what we mustn't forget is the victims - who have been through so much torment - to be in this position.”
LADbible has reached out to Netflix for comment.
Williams-Thomas spearheaded ITV's Exposure documentary in 2012 and it was this piece of journalism that exposed Savile once and for all.
The Met police responded to Williams-Thomas’ documentary by setting up Operation Yewtree, an investigation into sexual abuse allegations that led to the arrest of other high-profile celebrities including Max Clifford and Rolf Harris.
Speaking to Crime+Investigation about ‘lifting the lid’ on Savile’s crimes, Williams-Thomas called it an ‘incredible privilege’.
He explained that despite it being his ‘hardest’ investigation to date, the inquiry created a ‘tidal wave of change’.
Williams-Thomas said: “When it first came to my attention, I looked at it and it became very clear that he was a significant predatory paedophile and his story needs to be exposed.
“It took an awful lot of hard work. Out of all the investigations I have done it was the hardest. There were many hurdles along the way that we had to get over. There was people's bias, there were individuals who didn't want the programme to be made and there were real reluctance and fear.’
He added: “As a result of Savile’s exposure which sat on the front pages for 41 days we've managed to save hundreds, thousands of young people from being abused. Not just by Savile’s victims coming forward but by numerous other people who had the strength to come forward and speak out.
“In response, the authorities changed the way they investigate crimes and I think it’s had an impact, not just in the UK but internationally.”
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Alamy
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