The investigator who exposed Jimmy Savile is working on a pedophilia case against a “very important” person
The investigator who uncovered Jimmy Savile’s prolific pedophilia said he was working – and had been for some time – to expose another well-known living pedophile.
Mark Williams-Thomas, the former police detective turned TV journalist who exposed Savile, claimed the other individual had so far escaped justice because he was “untouchable”.
Williams-Thomas was the lead investigator for the ITV documentary Exposure, The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, which revealed how one of Britain’s most beloved entertainers systematically and disturbingly preys on vulnerable young girls.
The award-winning film, which aired just over a decade ago on October 3, 2012 – a year after Savile’s death – has prompted hundreds of other unknown victims to come forward with their experiences.
In the documentary, five women said they were sexually abused by Savile as teenagers. This exposure of Savile as a pedophile resulted in extensive media coverage, including 41 days on the front page.
Mark Williams-Thomas – who exposed Savile – said he was working to expose another well-known living sex offender.
The film led to the investigation into the Met Police’s Operation Yewtree, which ultimately resulted in convictions for sexual abuse against several famous personalities.
By October 2015, 19 people had been arrested by Operation Yewtree; seven of these arrests resulted in convictions.
However, Williams-Thomas, a child protection expert, expressed frustration that his pursuit of a high-profile target has so far been thwarted.
“There are still people who are untouchable,” said the former Surrey Police and family liaison officer.
“There is a very important person for whom I have done everything to try to be prosecuted because it is clearly a paedophile.”
Williams-Thomas was the lead investigator in the ITV documentary Exposure, The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, which revealed how one of Britain’s most beloved entertainers systematically and disturbingly preys on vulnerable young girls.
“As of today, the CPS will not proceed. The police and I really tried to make it happen. He will die in due time, and then the floodgates will open the same way they did with Savile. It is not fair. But justice takes many different forms.
He added: ‘The truth is that no broadcaster would have done a show on Savile in his lifetime. We live in a society where there are people you can’t face and it’s really sad.
Williams-Thomas, who left the police force 20 years ago to set up a consultancy specializing in child protection, has become a broadcaster favorite and contributed to a recent Channel 4 film in which Sir Cliff Richard , Paul Gambaccini and DJ Neil Fox have told how their lives have been ruined by the sexual abuse allegations made against them.
The cases against Richard and Gambaccini never went to trial while Fox was found not guilty by a magistrate’s court.
“There’s always collateral damage,” Williams-Thomas told me, “there will always be innocent victims of war and that’s what happened here.”
Although he believes the allegations against Sir Cliff were justified, he also said police carried out a ‘chaotic investigation’.
“What was wrong was the way they did it,” he added.
According to i.
This led to the investigation into the Met Police’s Operation Yewtree, which ultimately resulted in convictions of sexual abuse against several famous personalities. By October 2015, 19 people had been arrested by Operation Yewtree; seven of these arrests resulted in convictions
“I saw the interest in lifting anonymity so that the victims come forward. This is one of the reasons the CPS had no evidence to prosecute Savile while he was alive.
“The media plays a vital role in getting victims to come forward by making their names known. But they must consider the impact on the accused because there is no more heinous crime than child sexual abuse.
From police detective to television journalist: the career of Mark Williams-Thomas
- In 1989 Williams-Thomas joined Surrey Police – becoming a specialist in major crime and child abuse. He was a family liaison officer and left the force in 2000
- From 2003 he started as script adviser for various TV crime dramas including BBC series Waking The Dead (2007-2011), BBC series Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2007), Channel 5 series Murder Prevention (2004) , the ITV series Identity and the BBC series The Silence.
- In 2005, Williams-Thomas established WT Associates, an independent child protection consulting firm.
- In 2011, he created and presented a new series on ITV called On the Run. The premise of the series was to track down and confront offenders on the run from the police. The series ran for three seasons.
- On October 3, 2012, Williams-Thomas presented the documentary The Other Side of Jimmy Savile on ITV, in which five women said they had been sexually abused by Savile as teenagers. Savile’s exposure as a pedophile resulted in extensive media coverage, including 41 days on the front page.
- In 2014 he covered the Oscar Pistorius verdict and was the only British journalist to meet Pistorius at his trial, writing an exclusive report for the Daily Mirror.
- Williams-Thomas was the reporter for the ITV detective series The Investigator: A British Crime Story, produced by Simon Cowell’s Syco in 2016.
- 2022: He is a regular journalist on This Morning, Channel 4 News, as well as on the ITV series Exposure.
When the Savile film was produced, ITV was cautious about releasing it, Williams-Thomas said.
The BBC’s Newsnight had also launched an investigation – which Williams-Thomas was also working on – which allegedly aired the sick claims about Savile just as the broadcaster was preparing the tribute program to Savile after his death.
“ITV’s lawyers lost their temper in the final days before the transmission. You could see the temperature reaching the boiling point,’ Williams-Thomas told i. “He was a guy who had enormous power during his reign on television and even after his death people were afraid to confront him.”
“I knew we had to take the history of child abuse out of the home. Rightly or wrongly, people would say that these are stories of injured children, can we believe them?
“We conducted a well-documented, forensic, police investigation for months. Also, television is a visual medium, so we had to get victims to speak on camera, we couldn’t make everyone anonymous. The program was due to the bravery of these women telling their stories.
Although it airs at 11:10 p.m. in the evening, the effect of the program was immediate. “The NSPCC sent us a letter a week after it aired saying that as a result they were able to track 1,000 child abuse cases.”
“When the lead detectives of Operation Yewtree sat down with us to see what we had, they said they thought there were 30 Savile victims. There was silence in the room when I said the number was closer to 500. That’s about the number that subsequent investigation found.
“What our small team has achieved has given victims a voice across the country. If we hadn’t done Savile, I really don’t think this movement would have taken over the world,” Williams-Thomas said.
“It created Harvey Weinstein and Epstein (their show). I’m honored to have been a catalyst for something that changed people’s lives.
Reflecting on Savile, Williams-Thomas told me he understood how even King Charles had been duped by such a manipulative figure.
“I have seen communications between Savile and Prince Charles where there was a conversation about using Savile as a sounding board for his relationship with Diana. Pretty crazy because Savile has never had a real relationship in her life.
“I don’t blame Charles, Savile was looking to ingratiate himself into the royal family. If he saw an advantage in being somewhere, he would exploit it for personal gain. He managed to get his foot in the door. He also did a lot for charity and that helped create a profile that he built through contact with the royal family.