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Savile 'groped women' at High Royds Hospital, report reveals
4:09pm Thursday 26th June 2014 in News
JIMMY Savile groped women at High Royds psychiatric hospital in Menston, a report revealed yesterday – and demanded a room in case he “pulled one these young nurses”.
Staff described the disgraced DJ and TV presenter’s behaviour as “cupping under breasts, hands up the skirt”, at a summer gala at a psychiatric hospital in Menston in 1988.
Savile behaved like a “dirty old man”, investigators were told, but staff and patients did not complain formally because it was an “occupational hazard of being a woman” at that time.
A porter or driver said Savile had asked him if there was “a room he could use if he pulled one of these young nurses”. No room was provided, it is believed.
The incidents are revealed in a report into a gala to mark the centenary of High Royds Hospital, which was opened by Savile – one of 28 reports published yesterday.
One victim, a 44-year-old patient referred to as ‘X,’ told how, “during a fancy dress fun run Savile put his hand up her skirt and rubbed her bottom”.
And she told the inquiry: “If he had done it to me now I would have smacked him, but I was very vulnerable then.
“You didn’t go to the ward sister to tell them things like this as they were busy and the ward sister was an old dragon.”
‘X’ also said mention of Savile’s name brought back memories of abuse she had suffered, adding: “I have to think of the bad times in my life when I see anything about Jimmy Savile.
“I remember when he died and he had a gold coffin and there was a statue of him. I remember thinking they can’t do that.”
The inquiry also heard from ‘Y’, a 20-year-old staff member at the time, who remembered how people wore ‘St Trinian’s’ costumes of “pigtails and hockey sticks and PE skirts”.
She said: “He was just very free with his hands, so hands going round people, round their waist but then upwards, cupping under breasts, hands up the skirt.”
Savile made her feel “uncomfortable” but, she added: “We just laughed it off, said ‘Dirty old man’ and didn’t go near him for the rest of the day.
“I can’t imagine that if we had said anything to anybody, or the police, that anybody would take it seriously, I don’t think, at that time. It was just an occupational hazard of being a woman.”
High Royds – originally opened as the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in 1888 – closed in 2003 and was redeveloped as apartments named High Royds Village.
It was one of 28 hospitals where Savile sexually assaulted victims aged five to 75 over decades of unrestricted access, the investigators found.
In a statement to MPs, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised to victims, saying Savile's actions “will shake our country to the core”.