Investigators say men, women, boys and girls were among victims, and incidents included three rapes

Jimmy Savile
© KeystoneJimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile's victims at Leeds general infirmary ranged from five to 75 in age and included men, women, boys and girls, an inquiry has found.

A wide-ranging investigation carried out at 28 NHS trusts found widespread abuse by the serial sexual predator at Broadmoor and Leeds general infirmary, both places where Savile had long associations.

The Department of Health (DoH) apologised on Thursday for the "wholly inadequate procedures" that allowed the former BBC DJ to hold a managerial position at the high-security hospital Broadmoor.

Una O'Brien, permanent secretary at the DoH, described the reports as shocking. She apologised for the inadequate processes that enabled Savile to occupy a managerial role at Broadmoor in 1988.

"The DoH accepts that the procedures in 1988 were wholly inadequate for checking whether Jimmy Savile was a suitable person to be given a managerial role," she said.

At Broadmoor, with which Savile had an association from 1968 for three decades and a managerial role from 1988, there were allegations made by 11 people, six of them patients, two staff and three minors. Two were male. Investigators believe this to be an "underestimate of the true picture". Patients were strongly discouraged from reporting at the time, and carry that legacy now, said the report.

The investigation concluded that at least five, possibly six, had been sexually assaulted, but were unable to speak in detail to the other five.

Savile had keys to the high-security hospital, accommodation and unrestricted access due to his relationship with the medical superintendent who hoped his fame would improve public perception of the hospital. He stopped visiting when a new security system was introduced in 2004.

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Until the late 1980s, female patients were obliged to strip in front of staff to change into nightwear or to bathe. Savile watched, and also looked through doorways at female patients bathing, the report states.

There was "lax" observance of procedures, and "Savile could be charming and persuasive, at least to some, but at the same time he was grandiose, narcissistic, arrogant and lacking any empathy. He was also very manipulative and many staff were convinced that he had close connections in high places and had the power to have them dismissed," the report states.

His fundraising was "trivial", and his general behaviour towards women "often flamboyantly inappropriate", it found.

He used his Broadmoor accommodation and caravan "to entertain a regular stream of female visitors, none of whom were patients".

One allegation related to indecent exposure to a minor. Six assault allegations involved patients (five female, one male), two involved staff and two involved minors. Two patients were subjected to repeated assault.

There was no reliable evidence that any staff or patients' complaints about Savile at the time were reported to senior staff. But, the investigation found, there was a degree of under-reporting because of patients' concerns about the consequences to themselves.

"We conclude that the institutional culture in Broadmoor was previously inappropriately tolerant of staff-patient sexual relationships and could be hostile to anyone who tried to report one," the report stated. There was a "clear and repeated failure of safeguarding standards".

At Leeds general infirmary, where Savile worked as a volunteer porter in the 60s and 70s, 64 people came forward, with an age range between five and 75, 60 of them to allege abuse on the premises.

Encounters ranged from lewd remarks to inappropriate touching, sexual assault and in three cases rape, said the report. Nine reported the abuse at the time but investigators found no evidence of action by senior managers. The encounters took place on wards, in lifts, in corridors, in offices and off site in a local cafe, in his mother's house and in his camper van, which he parked in the hospital carpark. "Of the victims from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust or its predecessor bodies, ages ranged from five years to 75 years," the report said. "Nineteen children and 14 adults were patients at the time of their abuse. Boys, girls, women and men.

"In addition 19 members of staff reported abusive or inappropriate encounters with Savile. The majority of Savile's victims were in their late teens or early 20s at the time of the encounter. The earliest case was in 1962 when Savile was 36 years old and the most recent in 2009, when he was 82."

Most of his assaults were "opportunistic". He was most active from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s.

The investigation at Leeds also examined claims that Savile had an unhealthy interest in the hospital mortuary. Witnesses told investigators Savile claimed to have two big rings which he said had been made from glass eyes taken from bodies. "Whether these claims were made merely to shock his listeners, they again indicate and reinforce the notion of Savile's fascination with the bodies of the deceased," said the report.

A former nurse at Broadmoor also claimed Savile had said he used to pose dead bodies for photographs.

Investigators said: "We have no way of proving Savile's claims that he interfered with the bodies of the deceased patients in the mortuary in this way." But, the report added, Savile had publicly declared interest in the dead and was friends with mortuary staff, and there was "a lack of stringent procedures regarding the mortuary at the infirmary until the late 1980s at the earliest".

He had access to offices, on-site residences and other restricted areas due to his relationship with the head porter and other senior managers in the late 1960s. "This access remained unchallenged for the entirety of his association with the infirmary," the report said. He even had staff to manage his fan mail.

Julian Hartley, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust, said: "This is a profoundly shocking report in which for the first time we are able to gain a clear picture of the abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile during his involvement with our hospitals in Leeds, in particular Leeds general infirmary."

He stressed the hospitals in Leeds now operated in "a very different way" with "much greater focus on security".

The report painted "a very grim picture of an individual with a very dark side who used his role as volunteer and fundraiser, combined with his national fame, to mask a range of dreadful acts he perpetrated on children and adults alike over a prolonged period of time".

He added it was "absolutely clear" there should have been "far more scrutiny" of Savile and more robust safeguards.

"The lack of visibility of senior managers across the trust during this time and the lack of questioning and curiosity about Savile's role and presence in our hospitals over the years is certainly a lesson for all NHS boards and one we are addressing in Leeds."

He said VIPs no longer had open access to hospitals and had to be registered at every visit, and internal controls had been strengthened. "In short we were badly taken in by a clever and manipulative individual, we let our guard down and people came to harm as a result of this. For this we are truly sorry."

Steve Shrubb, chief executive of West London Mental Health NHS trust, offered a "heartfelt apology" on behalf of Broadmoor, which had changed "immeasurably" since Savile visited, he said.

- Anyone needing support should contact the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) on 0808 801 0331