Former BBC driver accused of sexual offences found dead: police

LONDON - A former BBC driver arrested as part of an investigation set up to examine sexual abuse claims against late presenter Jimmy Savile was found dead on Monday after failing to turn up to court, police said.

David Smith, 66, was found at his south London home at 2:20 pm (1420 GMT). He was earlier due to appear in court to answer five claims of sexual abuse against a 12-year-old boy.

"Police attended a private address in Effingham Road, Lewisham on Monday 28 October as a man had failed to appear at Southwark Crown Court today," said a police statement.

"At approx 1420 officers entered the address and found the body of a man. A FME (forensic medical examiner) attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Next of kin are being informed."

A post-mortem is to be carried out to establish the cause of death.

Police were still awaiting formal identification, but Britain's press reported the man to be Smith.

The chauffeur was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, set up in the wake of hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse against DJ Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84.

Smith was the first person to be charged in the investigation after it was claimed he sexually abused the boy between June 1 and July 21, 1984.

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