Ex-chauffeur of notorious BBC presenter Jimmy Savile found guilty of raping girls

LONDON (AFP) - The former flatmate and chauffeur of the notorious BBC presenter Jimmy Savile was found guilty Friday of a series of rapes and sexual assaults of young girls.

Ray Teret, a 73-year-old former pirate radio DJ, was convicted of seven rapes and 11 indecent assaults, in relation to 11 victims. The offences occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.

Prosecutors said Teret, nicknamed "Ugly Ray", used his star status to target vulnerable young girls.

Former DJ Savile, who died in 2011, has since been revealed as a prolific child sex abuser who escaped capture throughout his life.

The mountain of historic allegations about Savile sparked a wide-ranging police investigation which has seen celebrities convicted for sex offences dating back decades.

Liz Dux, from the law firm representing one of Teret's victims, as well as 169 people claiming to have been abused by Savile, welcomed Friday's verdicts.

"This is the closest the victims of Jimmy Savile will get to a conviction against their attacker. They will take some comfort from the verdict," she said.

Peter Watt of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, said: "Teret committed the most horrendous abuse of children, and facilitated grotesque abuse against them by others.

"He treated impressionable, vulnerable girls as objects, commodities and pieces of meat to be passed around."

Nazir Afzal, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Teret "singled his victims out for attention, using charm and flattery, before subjecting them to traumatic and callous assaults.

"Some he groomed over a period of time, whilst others he assaulted soon after he first approached them. Some of the victims were only 13.

"I hope today's verdict will in some way help these victims to move on with their lives," he said.

Teret will be sentenced on Thursday.