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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 18 December, 2014

Autopsy due after BBC chauffeur accused of child sexual abuse found dead

David Smith was found dead in his home after he failed to turn up to court in London on Monday.

David Smith pictured at Westminster Magistrates Court in London in May
David Smith pictured at Westminster Magistrates Court in London in May
Image: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

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 yesterday after failing to turn up to court, police said.

David Smith, 66, was found at his south London home at 2:20 pm. 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.

- © AFP, 2013

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