More Savile sex abuse allegations

Herald Series: New abuse allegations surround the late Sir Jimmy Savile New abuse allegations surround the late Sir Jimmy Savile

Fresh claims of sexual abuse have been made against late TV presenter Sir Jimmy Savile following allegations that he preyed on children during hospital visits.

A string of police forces said members of the public have come forward to make complaints. Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Tayside are the latest forces to say that allegations have been made. They have been referred to Scotland Yard, which is leading the investigation.

Claims have also emerged that Savile groped young patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, where he worked as a volunteer fundraiser, while one woman alleged that she saw him molest a brain-damaged hospital patient at Leeds General Hospital.

Nurses at Stoke Mandeville are understood to have dreaded Savile's visits because of his behaviour and would tell children to stay in bed and pretend to be asleep when he came round. Caroline Moore claims she was assaulted by Savile at the age of 13 while being treated for spinal injuries at Stoke Mandeville in 1971.

Mrs Moore, from Clarkston in East Renfrewshire, said: "I was outside a ward or a gym and he came out and just rammed his tongue down my throat. I told my family at the time; they didn't take it seriously because he was such a high-profile character."

June Thornton, a patient at Leeds General Infirmary in 1972, said she saw Savile abuse someone she thought was a brain-damaged girl. Ms Thornton was incapacitated while recovering from a back operation at the time and said that when she told a nurse about the abuse, she was ignored.

"I thought he was a visitor coming to see her. He started rubbing his hands down her arms and then, I don't know of a nice way to put it, but he molested her. He helped himself. She just sat there and couldn't do anything about it," she told ITV News.

A spokesman for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Stoke Mandeville, said: "We are shocked to hear of the serious allegations about Jimmy Savile. At this stage in the proceedings it would not be appropriate for us to conduct our own internal investigation. However, we have been contacted by the police this week and are supporting them fully with their inquiries. If their findings suggest that we do need to take further action, then we will do so."

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We are shocked at the nature and extent of the very serious allegations made against Jimmy Savile which were revealed by the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday. We have made contact with the police and they will be meeting with us to discuss their investigation. Clearly this whole matter needs to be looked into fully and we will give every co-operation to the police."

The hospitals urged anyone with any concerns to contact police. The raft of allegations against Savile has been branded a "cesspit" by BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten who pledged to hold an independent inquiry as swiftly as possible after the police investigation.

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