A HIGH Court judge today approved a compensation scheme for victims of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile.
The scheme agreed between executors of Leeds-based Savile’s estate and lawyers representing alleged victims was sanctioned by Mr Justice Sales at a hearing in London.
The judge gave his approval after dismissing an attempt to replace the NatWest bank as the executor of the Savile estate.
Mr Justice Sales announced his decision - which lawyers said was good news for more than 140 people who say they were sexually abused and have made compensation claims - but will give full reasons at a later date.
His ruling today followed the hearing of a dispute, which began on Monday, over who should be the executor of Savile’s estate.
At the start of the proceedings lawyers representing victims said they had agreed a compensation scheme with NatWest bank, and that the NHS and the BBC also supported the scheme.
But the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust - the major beneficiary of the estate, worth around £4 million - wanted the bank replaced as executor.
Trust bosses are unhappy with the bank’s performance, suggest that compensation issues have not been fully thought through and say NatWest should be replaced by another executor. NatWest disputes their complaints.
Lawyers for alleged victims said that if NatWest was replaced the compensation scheme could be undermined and claimants might be forced into litigation.
Liz Dux, a solicitor with law firm from Slater & Gordon - which is representing alleged victims, said earlier outside the court that the hearing was “important”.
“It is not about amounts or cold hard cash but redress. The victims suffered some horrific abuse, often in silence,” she said.
“It is right and proper that their suffering is now recognised.
“I urge everyone involved in the process to make it as smooth and pain-free as possible in order to guard against any further suffering.”
Ms Dux said the judge was being asked to decide whether a proposed compensation scheme should go ahead as planned.
She said more than 140 alleged sex abuse victims - male and female - had made compensation claims.