A Timeline of recent Historical Sexual Abuse Allegations


The October 2012 documentary about the alleged crimes of Jimmy Savile led to an avalanche of claims of historical sexual abuse.

Jimmy Savile

The following timeline is by no means inclusive, and many of the cases alluded to below are ongoing. They are as disparate as they are myriad, some, like the prosecutions of Andrew Lancel and Michael Le Vell, should clearly never have been brought. Others, like that of Stuart Hall, and the November 2013 revelations of the Panorama programme, beggar belief. There is one major desideratum, that of the grooming gangs. This sordid affair has not been included because although some of these offences went back years, they were not strictly speaking historical, rather the legal authorities knew about them but refused to act or to investigate meaningfully, hamstrung as they were by political correctness. The case of Cyril Smith has not been timelined in detail because he died three years ago.

September 30, 2011: Soap actor Michael Le Vell is arrested at his home on suspicion of sexual offences against a young girl.

October 29, 2011: DJ and TV presented Jimmy Savile dies aged 84. He receives a funeral fit for a king.

January 1, 2012: The case against Michael Le Vell is dropped.

April 12, 2012: The BBC reports that the former musical director of a specialist music school in Manchester had been accused of raping a student. Michael Brewer was alleged to have attacked the teenage girl at Chetham’s School over 30 years ago. His then wife, Hilary, was also, charged with rape and indecent assault.

June 7, 2012: Michael Brewer appears in court charged with rape and indecent assault. His ex-wife Hilary is also charged with rape and indecent assault. Both are granted bail.

October 3, 2012: The documentary Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile is screened late at night, its contents having been announced well in advance.

Click here for a Savile timeline.

October 9, 2012: The name Operation Yewtree is given to the Savile and associated investigations.

October 28, 2012: Convicted paedophile Gary Glitter is arrested and bailed until December.

November 1, 2012: The comedian Freddie Starr is arrested.

November 8, 2012: Jimmy Savile’s former chauffeur Ray Teret is arrested.

November 11, 2012: Former BBC producer Wilfred De’ath is arrested.

November 15, 2012: Dave Lee Travis is arrested.

November 16, 2012: Dave Lee Travis makes a public statement denying the allegations against him.

November 24, 2012: Police execute a search warrant at the home of Rolf Harris.

November 30, 2012: Andrew Lancel is charged with five counts of sexually abusing an underage boy. He had previously played a rapist in the soap opera Coronation Street. His character, who was charged, tried and acquitted, was then murdered by his own mother.

December 6, 2012: PR guru Max Clifford is arrested.

December 10, 2012: Convicted paedophile David Smith is arrested.

December 19, 2012: Former BBC producer Ted Beston is arrested.

January 2, 2013: A 59 year old man is arrested in West London and a 53 year old man is arrested in Hampshire. One of these men was Jim Davidson.

January 15, 2013: The trial of Michael Brewer and his ex-wife opens at Manchester Crown Court. He is charged with rape and 13 counts of indecent assault.

February 5, 2013: The BBC reports the arrest of an unnamed 65 year old man.

February 8, 2013: Michael Brewer is cleared of rape but convicted of indecent assault. His ex-wife Hilary is also convicted. It is revealed that before the verdict, the victim, Francis Andrade, had committed suicide. The judge ruled that the jury should not be told this.

February 14, 2013: The BBC reports violin teacher Wen Zhou Li has been arrested on suspicion of rape. He worked at Chetham’s School of Music, the same institution as Michael Brewer. He is subsequently bailed.

February 14, 2013: Michael Le Vell is re-arrested after further allegations are made against him by the same “victim”.

February 15, 2013: It is reported nationally that Michael Le Vell has been charged with a total of 19 sexual offences allegedly committed between 2001 and 2010.

February 21, 2013: Channel 4 reports allegations of sexual harassment against Lord Rennard.

February 27, 2013: Michael Le Vell makes his first appearance before magistrates; he is remanded on bail.

March 11, 2013: The trial of artist Graham Ovenden opens at Truro Crown Court.

March 13, 2013: Dave Lee Travis is re-arrested.

March 20, 2013: Jim Davidson is re-arrested.

March 26, 2013: Michael Brewer and Hilary Brewer are sentenced. He is given six years; she is given 21 months.

April 2, 2013: Graham Ovenden is convicted of six counts of indecency and one of indecent assault against underage girls between 1972 and 1985.

April 23, 2013: The Metropolitan Police announce they are investigating allegations against Lord Rennard, and appeal for witnesses.

April 19. 2013: Rolf Harris is named as another so-called suspect in Operation Yewtree. It is confirmed he was questioned in November 2012, then arrested and bailed until March 2013.

April 24, 2013: Freddie Starr is re-arrested.

April 26, 2013: The comedian Jimmy Tarbuck is arrested in relation to an alleged assault on a young boy in the 1970s.

April 26, 2013: Max Clifford is charged with 11 historical sex offences against seven alleged victims: teenage girls and young women. The earliest dates to 1966; the latest to 1985.

May 1, 2013: William Roache becomes the third member of the cast of Coronation Street to be arrested in this ongoing witch hunt. The allegation is of raping a 15 year old girl in 1967. Roache is the longest serving soap star in the world, and appeared in the very first episode of this (one-time) kitchen sink drama.

May 2, 2013: In a surprising about face, veteran (and now former) broadcaster Stuart Hall pleads guilty to indecently assaulting 13 underage girls between 1967 and 1985. Three other such charges and the rape charge are allowed to lie on file.

May 4, 2013: The Deputy Speaker of the House Of Commons, out homosexual Nigel Evans, is arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault. The complainants are two much younger men, and the alleged offences are dated from July 2009 to May 2013.

May 7, 2013: The BBC reports the April 26 arrest of Jimmy Tarbuck.

May 10, 2013: A 58 year old man is arrested in London on suspicion of indecent assault at the Royal Northern College of Music relating to an alleged incident in 1994.

May 14, 2013: The BBC reports that the case against Ted Beston has been discontinued.

May 17, 2013: Michael Le Vell pleads not guilty to all charges against him.

May 28, 2013: The Queen strips Michael Brewer of his OBE.

June 3, 2013: Former BBC DJ and convicted paedophile Chris Denning is arrested.

June 3, 2013: The BBC reports on the first day of Andrew Lancel’s trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

June 4, 2013: Graham Ovenden is given a suspended sentence at Plymouth Crown Court.

June 10, 2013: A jury at Liverpool Crown Court takes less than half an hour to clear the actor Andrew Lancel of allegations of homosexual offences dating back to 1994.

June 12, 2013: Michael Brewer loses an appeal against sentence; he did not appeal his conviction.

June 17, 2013: Stuart Hall is given a 15 month sentence at Preston Crown Court.

July 10, 2013: The BBC reports Jim Davidson has been rebailed until October.

July 26, 2013: After widespread complaints by members of the public and a reference by the Attorney General, Stuart Hall sees his sentence doubled by the Court Of Appeal.

August 2, 2013: The CPS receives a file concerning the January 2, 2013 arrests.

August 7, 2013: Malcolm Layfield is arrested on suspicion of raping 3 girls in the 1980s and 1990s while working at the same school as Michael Brewer.

August 15, 2013: Dave Lee Travis appears before the cameras to deny all the allegations against him.

August 21, 2013: The CPS announces that any and all action against Jim Davidson has been discontinued, and against the other man arrested January 2, 2013.

September 2, 2013: Michael Le Vell’s trial opens at Manchester Crown Court.

September 6, 2013: Dave Lee Travis appears at the Central Criminal Court charged with 11 counts of indecent assault and 1 count of sexual assault.

September 10, 2013: Michael Le Vell is cleared of all allegations.

September 10, 2013: After being charged with multiple sex offences, Nigel Evans is released on bail. He resigns from his position as Deputy Speaker of the House Of Commons.

September 11, 2013: Nigel Evans makes a statement in the House Of Commons.

September 12, 2013: Channel 4 screens The Paedophile MP..., a documentary about the late Cyril Smith.

September 18, 2013: Nigel Evans MP appears in court charged with a number of sexual offences against men.

September 23, 2013: Rolf Harris appears in court charged with nine counts of indecent assault and four of making indecent images of a child.

September 26, 2013: The investigation into Lord Rennard is wound up.

October 1, 2013: The BBC reports that Dave Lee Travis has been charged with two further counts of indecent assault.

October 9, 2013: Graham Ovenden’s sentence is increased by the Court Of Appeal and he is gaoled.

October 17, 2013: Malcolm Layfield is re-arrested.

October 22, 2013: The Queen strips Stuart Hall of the OBE he was awarded in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.

October 22, 2013: Dave Lee Travis appears at Southwark Crown Court where he pleads not guilty to 15 charges. His trial is scheduled for January 2014.

October 23, 2013: Having been taken from his prison cell to a police station, Stuart Hall is charged with 15 rapes and one count of indecent assault involving two girls aged between 11 and 16 between 1976 and 1981.

October 25, 2013: The BBC reports that Ray Teret has been charged with historical sex offences involving 15 teenage girls between 1962 and 1996.

October 28, 2013: When David Smith fails to appear at Southwark Crown Court, a warrant is issued for his arrest. Later that day, police find him dead at his home.

November 1: It is revealed that the broadcaster and author Paul Gambaccini was arrested the previous Tuesday. He is bailed until January 2014.

November 4, 2013: The BBC screens After Savile: No More Secrets which contains disturbing revelations dating to 1950.

November 6, 2013: Stuart Hall appears at Preston Crown Court charged with 15 counts of rape and one of indecent assault. The alleged victims were two girls who were both under 17 at the time.

[The above article was first published November 12, 2013. The title has been altered from the grammatically incorrect A Timeline of recent Historic Sexual Abuse Allegations to A Timeline of recent Historical Sexual Abuse Allegations. Although I referred to Francis Andrade as a victim, having read the sentencing remarks of the judge, I do not believe she was any kind of victim, rather she was out of her tree. Normally, I hyphenate the phrase witch hunt, but I did not do so here. Also, I do not believe any of the allegations made against Jimmy Savile.]

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