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10 October 2012, 09:42
Sir Jimmy Savile’s headstone in Scarborough has been removed out of “respect to public opinion”.
Savile's family said they made the decision to maintain the``dignity and sanctity'' of Woodlands Cemetery.
Scarborough Borough Council dismantled the headstone, which has a picture of Savile and a list of his accomplishments, after midnight.
In a statement the council said: “We have been advised by the funeral directors, Joseph A Hey and Son, acting on behalf of Jimmy Savile's family, that the headstone at Woodlands Cemetery has been removed.”
Savile's family asked for it to be removedafter it emerged police believe the former presenter could have abused up to 25 victims over 40 years.
A family spokesman said in a statement: “The family members are deeply aware of the impact that the stone remaining there could have on the dignity and sanctity of the cemetery. Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there, and to those who tend their graves and visit there, we have decided to remove it.”
A number of memorials to Savile have already been removed, including an inscription on the wall at Leeds Civic Hall in recognition of his charity work, and a street sign in Scarborough. A plaque outside his home has been defaced.
Savile's headstone, which overlooks the sea from Woodlands Cemetery, was due to be removed at 7am on Wednesday but the work was brought forward to midnight to avoid unwanted attention and out of respect for those with relatives in the graveyard.
The tombstone will be ground down. It will then be broken up and sent to landfill.
The grave, in which Savile was buried at an angle so he could ``see'' Scarborough Castle and the sea, will remain unmarked for the foreseeable future.