Savile friend 'sad' over sex claims

Herald Series: A string of police forces have received complaints about Sir Jimmy Savile A string of police forces have received complaints about Sir Jimmy Savile

An old friend of Jimmy Savile who worked with him to raise funds for Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the 1970s said she is saddened by allegations of sexual abuse against him but never saw him do anything "inappropriate".

Sylvia Nicol told Daybreak: "I am very sad, I don't like it, it takes away 40 years of very happy, very good memories. Knowledge of all the good Jimmy did, because from the time he came to Stoke Mandeville I only saw him do good."

But Caroline Moore has claimed she was assaulted by Savile at the age of 13 while being treated for spinal injuries at the Buckinghamshire hospital in 1971. Nurses at the hospital are also 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.

Mrs Moore, from Clarkston in East Renfrewshire, told BBC Radio Scotland: "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."

Police believe Savile could have abused as many as 25 victims over a period of 40 years, and have so far formally recorded a number of criminal allegations against him including rape and indecent assault. Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Tayside are the latest forces to say allegations have been made. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Stoke Mandeville, and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said they were helping police with their investigations.

The BBC's reputation is increasingly under fire after an avalanche of allegations that the corporation was aware of claims about Savile's actions, but did nothing about them.

David Nicolson, who worked as a director on Jim'll Fix It, claimed to have caught Savile having sex with a girl in his dressing room, but was laughed away when he voiced his concerns, The Sun said. Mr Nicolson told the newspaper he caught Savile having sex with a "very, very young" girl in his dressing room. "It was a bog standard changing room in the basement. They both quickly pulled up their pants. The girl could have been 16, maybe 15. But she was just one of many - he always had one in the room."

When he reported the incident, he said he was told: "That's Jimmy. I was revolted by his behaviour. They just shrugged it off, saying 'Yeah, yeah - that's the way it goes'." He added: "Everyone knew what was going on. That includes senior BBC people - chiefs at the highest levels."

It was also claimed that Savile was banned from visiting a council-run children's home after he molested a 12-year-old girl. A woman said he was told to leave the care home in his home city of Leeds after staff found him in a bedroom with the girl in the 1970s. The woman, who does not want to be identified, told BBC Radio Leeds the girl was indecently touched by the former DJ but that a social worker advised her not to report it to the police. Leeds Safeguarding Children Board said it had not received any complaints about Savile but encouraged anyone with concerns to report them.

The witness said that the woman in charge of the home, who seemed "uncomfortable" with Savile visiting, "ran upstairs and found him" when she realised he had taken the girl into a bedroom. She said: "You could hear it - there were raised voices from the staffroom and then she just ran upstairs. A social worker came down and basically he came back the next day and said it would be his word against Jimmy Savile and it would be unfair to put a girl through the procedure of a police investigation that probably will end in nothing and ruin a man's career."

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