DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile raped or sexually assaulted at least 60 patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, including seriously ill children, a report has concluded. Savile, who is now accepted to have been one of the most notorious sex offenders in British history, was able to get away with his crimes because he raised £40m for the hospital.
The official report published by barrister Kate Lampard, says some of the victims were as young as eight and Savile’s brother also abused patients. For years Savile’s victims were ignored, despite numerous complaints being made. One young cancer victim was called a “silly girl” for claiming she was molested whilst recuperating from an operation involving 144 stitches.
Savile would walk around the corridors of the hospital late at night, according to a radiographer known as ‘victim 19’. The report said: “A nurse that victim 19 spoke to said that Savile would often push his way into their rooms and that he was known to be a dirty old man. No one ever indicated that Savile had actually abused them; he was regarded as a pain, nothing more.”
A doctor claimed Savile was known as a “sex pest” but that staff “managed him in their own way”. However Savile was interviewed by the Police in 2009 on the hospitals premises, but the investigating officers did not bother talking to staff or patients about their experiences of him.
Liz Dux, a lawyer representing many of the victims, said: “It beggars belief that a report which has revealed Savile was widely known as a sex pest at Stoke Mandeville can find no evidence of management responsibility.
“Ten victims had reported their assaults to nursing staff on the ward include one complaint being made to management yet still his deviant and sickening behaviour continued.
“There was clearly something seriously amiss at this hospital where three other doctors have been convicted of serious sex offences in the last four decades.
“Savile’s victims deserved more accountability from a hospital where they went to be looked after than they have received today.”
The Health Secretary is now expected to offer a personal apology to victims over what he described as “serious failings in the NHS”. Stoke Mandeville is not the only hospital used by Jimmy Savile he is also known to have abused at Leeds General and Broadmoor.