Police investigating complaints of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville Hospital failed to notify hospital bosses of the alleged offences, the ITV programme that unmasked the former DJ will claim tonight.
The documentary says that in 2009 officers interviewed Savile in the office he had at Stoke Mandeville about an alleged sex attack there years earlier. Yet, it claims, they never passed on details of the allegation to the hospital authorities because they believed there was no requirement to do so.
Exposure, screened tonight at 10.35pm, says that 16 allegations of abuse against Savile at Stoke Mandeville are among those now being investigated by police, including one where the victim was just eight years old.
Savile’s long-time PA Janet Cope tells the programme she never suspected anything of her former boss, but believes that he wielded too much influence at the hospital to be confronted.
The fundraising was everything. I don’t think they would even have thought about challenging him. Definitely not. He was too valuable to them.”
The programme highlights what it says were many missed opportunities in exposing Savile’s depravities. A female patient at Broadmoor Hospital claims she was locked up in solitary confinement for several months after complaining to hospital staff that he had indecently assaulted her. Former BBC governor Sir Roger Jones says he stopped Savile appearing on Children in Need after 1999 because he could detect discomfort among staff working on the programme.
Mark Williams-Thomas, the detective-turned–journalist who first broke the story, questions Jones about why he didn’t act on his own suspicions and report Savile. Here’s an extract from the exchange:
“But surely having made a big decision to not have him involved in Children in Need, it was for you to tell other people, let them make their own decision, but let them have that knowledge.”
Sir Roger Jones
“If you haven’t got proof then they would say I’m sorry, not substantiated. And I would have lost, I would have been made to look ridiculous.”
“But….potentially from that one conversation you could have opened up a complete can of worms and he could have stopped from offending against children because the likelihood is that he could continue to offend after that period of time.”
Sir Roger Jones
“Well, hindsight is truly a wonderful thing. I didn’t even know if I was right or not.”