Jimmy Savile's ex-driver David Smith leaves court
Jimmy Savile's ex-driver David Smith leaves court

Jimmy Savile's former chauffeur has been found dead ahead of being tried for child sex crimes.

Police officers discovered the body of David Smith, 66, at his home in London after he failed to show up for a court date.

Smith was facing two counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency to which he pleaded not guilty following his arrest in 2012.

The alarm was raised when Smith failed to attend Southwark Crown Court and his solicitor could not reach him by phone. Officers found his body when they went to his home in Lewisham, south London.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Officers entered the address and found the body of a man. A forensic medical examiner attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Next of kin are being informed."

Police are awaiting formal identification and a post mortem to establish the cause of death.

Smith was arrested last year by officers investigating sex crime accusations made in the wake of the Savile scandal, which erupted when ITV broadcast a documentary about the presenter in October 2012.

The deluge of calls received by authorities following the documentary prompted the creation of a special inquiry, Operation Yewtree. The accusations against Smith fell into the 'others' strand of the inquiry, meaning they are not directly related to Savile.