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Jimmy Savile: the Hospitals investigations
Regular readers of Real Whitby will have be aware that we have been pursuing an investigation into a paedophile ring that operated in Scarborough from about 1955 until about 2009, led by the Mayor of Scarbrough Mr Peter Jaconelli and involving Jimmy Savile, allegedly arcade owner Mr Jimmy Corrigan, and others.
One of the most disturbing revelations we uncovered is that Savile had access to Hospital patients from Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital and brought them to Scarborough on day trips, where they were introduced to Jaconelli and Corrigan at Jaconelli’s ice-cream parlours, where he is known to have abused children. We were the first to discover this and it was subsequently covered in the national press
Other information then came into our possession indicating that there were visits from other hospitals involving Savile. The concern being that he was trafficking vulnerable hospital patients to Scarborough for abuse by himself, Jaconelli and the other members of the ring. Scarborough Hospital was not involved in this investigation in any way.
Real Whitby has contacted the hospitals we believe may have been involved in this and have had the following responses:
Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital
Until the Real Whitby investigation, the official position of Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital was that Savile had visited there once during the 1970’s.
However, upon being contacted by Real Whitby, Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital immediately initiated an investigation conducted by Dr Mike Harris B.Sc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCPsych, Executive Director Forensic Services, Chief Officer for High Secure Services and a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist. It was conducted openly and Real Whitby co-operated fully with the investigation at all times, making all of our information available to Dr Harris.
The investigation identified members of staff that were on the visit and also a group photograph of the patients, nurses, Savile, Jaconelli and Savile’s mother Mrs Agnes Savile on the steps of Scarborough Town Hall. Understandably, the Hospital will not release this photograph because it has the faces of patients on it. The investigation fully confirmed the accuracy of the Original Real Whitby Report.
It also confirmed that Jimmy Savile had stayed at Rampton in his notorious camper-van for an unknown period, during which time according to one member of staff “he had a different woman every night”. Only one of the ladies involved has been identified and she was over the age of consent. The others remain unidentified and it is therefore unclear if they were patients, members of staff or outsiders.
Happily, the members of staff who were present on both visits are adamant that the patients were properly supervised and no abuse took place.
A hospital spokesman confirmed:
“Upon receiving information relating to a visit by Jimmy Savile to Scarborough involving Rampton Hospital, the Trust (Nottinghamshire Healthcare) has undertaken an internal investigation into these historical visits. Our initial findings seem to confirm two visits to Scarborough by patients and staff from the Hospital on the 25th of April 1971 and 21st of September 1972. We have the visits mentioned in a number of patient notes and a small number of patients have not yet been identified. We do not think there was any other involvement with patients as, anecdotally, we hear Jimmy Saville annoyed the Senior Nurse at the Hospital during this time and was discouraged from visiting again.
In the early 70s there were many visits out of the Hospital by patients, indeed many of them worked on a farm outside of the secure fenced area. There were approximately 1300 patients at that time, many of whom did not need to be in high secure care. They were looked after by 300 staff. Currently every patient within the Hospital needs high secure care, 350 of them are cared for by 1900 staff. Visits outside the Hospital happen rarely, mainly for court appearances, medical treatment or for compassionate reasons and these have to be agreed with the Ministry of Justice. These figures are publically available in our Board Papers, which are published on our web site.
We now have stringent policies and procedures in place to deal with visitors to the Hospital and safeguard our patients, including advance booking of visitors, advanced CRB checks for volunteers and visitors are also accompanied by staff at all times.”
High Royds Psychiatric Hospital Leeds
Real Whitby contacted the High Royds Psychiatric Hospital in Leeds and asked them to investigate if Jimmy Savile had arranged visits to Scarborough for its patients.
A hospital spokesman commented:
“An incident which occurred at High Royds Hospital in 1989 has been brought to our attention through the Giving Victims a Voice report into allegations made against Jimmy Savile. We are not aware of any other allegations and we have no record or knowledge of Savile taking patients on any visits. Any activities involving patients which take place off Trust premises are carefully risk-assessed and patients are always accompanied by our staff.
We consider it is unlikely that Savile took patients from the hospital on visits, but it is 21 years since the date of the allegation we have received. Many of Savile’s other alleged offences took place between 20-40 years ago and can only do our best to look into allegations that we are made aware of.”
Clearly investigating historical allegations of sexual offences up to forty years ago is a difficult task and it is understandable that the hospital was not able to rule out the possibility of patients from the hospital having been involved in these visits to Jaconelli at Scarborough.
Leeds General Infirmary
Real Whitby contacted Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), and asked them to investigate if Jimmy Savile had arranged visits to Scarborough for its patients. A spokesman pointed out that patients undergoing medical or surgical care would be unlikely to leave the hospital on a trip and the Trust would need to have more detail of specific claims as it was not aware of any. Due to the length of time that has elapsed, the Trust was unable to confirm definitely whether these visits had taken place or not. The Trust has an independent Investigation Team looking into Savile’s involvement with the LGI and stressed that any evidence or concerns should be passed on to them.
We also asked for information on the dates that Mr Alan Franey (who was a close friend, a member of Savile’s running club and who was subsequently personally recommended by Savile for appointment at Broadmoor) was a member of the management team there.
The Trust spokesman commented:
“The Investigation Team based at the hospital is looking at issues including the historical management arrangements, which are quite complex to unravel. As you will appreciate such information about many years ago is not known to the current Trust. That work is still ongoing and will be published as part of their eventual report. Those facts about Mr Franey and Savile’s involvement with the hospital stretching back many decades are not fully known and that is why we have an Investigation Team who are looking into such matters.
Please see below our public statements about this – the first of which makes clear the investigation team will carry out their work in private prior to releasing a public report, plus the terms of reference which set down what exactly they are aiming to do, one of which is to establish a full chronology:
On the basis of these very clear statements we are declining to comment on matters which the panel are currently looking into – that policy applies to all media, so you are not being treated differently from anyone else. “
One of the members of the investigation team is Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway (retired), formerly the Director of North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence, who commanded its Force Intelligence Bureau I believe until his retirement in January 2013. He is internationally famous for his investigation of the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence
This is of interest because in July 2007 North Yorkshire Police received an enquiry from Surrey Police for any intelligence they had on Jimmy Savile. The Bureau sent back a negative response. However, in fact Savile was well known as an associate of the known paedophile Peter Jaconelli. Detectives from North Yorkshire Police had apparently questioned witnesses about Savile in the 2003 investigation referred to above.
The Surrey Police investigation was the best chance that existed of bringing Savile to justice. It failed because:
I found it intriguing that an officer who had access to all force intelligence and therefore may have had knowledge of the original bungled investigation into Savile and Jaconelli was also involved in the present NHS investigation. I therefore asked the following additional questions of Mr Galloway.
I received the following prompt and courteous response from a Leeds Teaching Hospitals spokesman:
“I have put this question to Mr Galloway and he has confirmed he was not the Director of Intelligence for North Yorkshire Police in July 2007, nor has he ever been involved, in any way whatsoever, with any investigation or enquiry relating to Jimmy Savile. He does not wish to add any more to that statement. Reporting to the formal panel is an investigation team, their names and roles are spelled out on a separate public website set up specifically for the investigation, which is accessible via the link below:
when you go on to that site click on investigation in the menu in the top left and then scroll down to the membership.
As you will see it includes brief biographies for the investigation team members, including Mr Galloway. This sets outs the why Mr Galloway is suitably qualified to be involved in the Leeds investigation, and you will also note that there are a number of other well qualified and independent individuals who are part of the same team.
I really don’t have anything else I can add on the matters you raised relating to Mr Galloway or North Yorkshire Police - as I said in my last message these are not questions for our Trust.”
Clearly, having a retired senior police officer on the team is an asset to the investigation. Having taken up an appointment to an investigation of this nature of his own free will, Mr Galloway has accepted a duty to behave openly and has voluntarily agreed to some degree of public scrutiny of his experience and credentials.
Given the public allegations that blatant corruption in North Yorkshire Police allowed Jaconelli and Savile to operate openly in Scarborough, because of Jaconelli’s position as Mayor and his close connections to the Police and the Council; that there is now potentially a link between Savile’s offending at the LGI (in the West Yorkshire Police Area, where one police officer has been referred to the IPCC) and Jaconelli and Savile’s offending in Scarborough (in the North Yorkshire Police area), it seems to me to be completely unsatisfactory that Mr Galloway refuses to answer these questions and carries on as a member of the investigation with this unresolved conflict of interest.
Under these circumstances, it appears to me that the integrity of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust investigation is fatally compromised.
A spokesperson for the trust responded to this concern:
“We do not intend to answer the questions you raise whilst the investigation is underway. We do not accept that the investigation into Jimmy Savile’s activities is in any way compromised or flawed and are assured that it is being conducted with the utmost integrity.”
I can only pose the question: If indeed this is the case, why should Mr Galloway refuse to answer the above questions about any knowledge he or North Yorkshire Police may or may not have had about Savile’s close associate and fellow paedophile Jaconelli? Particularly as a simple answer confirming he knew nothing would resolve these concerns and add to the credibility of the investigation.
This latest line of enquiry pursued into Savile by Real Whitby has established that:
Frustratingly, the investigation has been inconclusive, because we have been unable to identify which other hospital(s) were involved or what happened. This is because the events under investigation happened up to forty years ago and the Rampton investigation was assisted by the existence of the original Sunday People article. However, if any Real Whitby reader has any further information on hospital visits, please contact us using the comments section, or alternatively the Real Whitby email address in complete confidence
Savile did not do anything for anyone without something in it for himself. According to Commander Peter Spindler commanding Operation Yewtree, Savile was “a prolific, predatory sex offender spent every minute of every waking day thinking about abuse” and we can therefore be confident that if he had the opportunity to abuse patients who had been taken away from the close supervision in a hospital ward for a day visit he and Jaconelli would have done so. It still therefore remains a concern that abuse of hospital patients may have occurred.
Savile the unanswered questions
Real Whitby and others have consistently alleged that Jaconeli was left alone by the local police and council because of his status as Mayor and prominent businessman. This allowed him to provide his cronies (including Savile) a benign environment to operate in completely unhindered by the police. Hence perhaps the reason that Savile stayed in Scarborough after his mother’s death in 1972 and gave Jaconelli and others access to vulnerable people.
This latest line of enquiry by Real Whitby and the publication of the Report into allegations of collusion by West Yorkshire Police has uncovered more questions about the actions of Scarborough Borough Council and officers North Yorkshire Police, which remain unanswered:
To quote the above BBC report:
It adds to an uneasy sense that the review hasn’t established the full story of Jimmy Savile’s relationships with the force.”
North Yorkshire Police were offered the opportunity to comment on this article but did not do so.