A former BBC chauffeur, who was found dead on the day of his trial for child sex offences, was a prolific paedophile with 22 previous convictions for offences against boys, it has been revealed.
David Smith, 67, who was charged with sex offences as part of the Jimmy Savile inquiry, was found dead in his home in Lewisham, South London on Monday.
Mr Smith, 67, who drove for TV personalities including Savile in the 1980s, had been due to stand trial for allegedly abusing a 12-year-old boy in 1984.
When he failed to show a warrant was issued for his arrest, with officers discovering a body when they arrived at his home.
There are fears that he took his own life, the Sun reported.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday: “Police attended a private address as a man had failed to appear at Southwark Crown Court.
“At approximately 14.20pm officers entered the address and found the body of a man. Next of kin are being informed.”
Mr Smith had faced two counts of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child, and one of buggery, all relating to a 12-year-old boy, between June 1 and July 21, 1984.
During the hearing at Southwark Crown Court Smith's defence counsel Sandy Canavan said her solicitor had been attempting to contact him without success.
She said: "He has been regularly in contact, I am concerned at the lack of contact. He is the sole carer for his very aged and very unwell mother, that may have affected why he's not here today."
The court was told that officers were on the way to his home. Judge Alastair McCreath said: "He needs to be here, if his mother's poorly or not."
He issued a bench warrant, backed for bail, with the condition that he surrender to the court by 9.30 tomorrow morning, with the case to be listed for 10am.
Smith was the first person to be charged under Operation Yewtree, the national investigation prompted after claims were made against disgraced TV presenter Savile.
Scotland Yard has led the probe, and separated its inquiries into those involving Savile, those involving Savile and others, and those involving others. Smith has been investigated under the "others" strand.