Savile & the Broadmoor abuse allegations: The Scarborough & Whitby connection – by Tim Hicks

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Savile & the Broadmoor abuse allegations: The Scarborough & Whitby connection – by Tim Hicks

Savile & the Broadmoor abuse allegations:

The Scarborough & Whitby connection – by Tim Hicks

Following the furore over Jimmy Savile after his exposure by the former Surrey Police Detective Mark Williams-Thomas in the ITV programme “Exposure:  The Other Side of Jimmy Savile”, Real Whitby investigative-journalists have been conducting an investigation into Jimmy Savile and his activities in Scarborough and Whitby, locations largely ignored by the national media.

In his follow up programme, shown on Wednesday the 21st of November, Mr Williams-Thomas commented on Savile’s activities at Broadmoor Secure Mental Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary and Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Savile is alleged to have committed a variety of offences at Stoke Mandeville, ranging from indecent assault to rape, which were reported to staff and ignored.

At the time of writing, there is no mention of the abuse allegations on the hospital website. The only mention of Savile posted after the 3rd of October (when Mr Williams-Thomas’ allegations were first made public) praises his fundraising activities and refers to him as Sir Jimmy Savile.

Broadmoor Secure Mental Hospital

However, it is the incredible revelations about Broadmoor and the link to his “Scarborough and Whitby set” that principally concern this article:

  • Although he was not a member of the medical staff and had no training in how to operate in a secure hospital, Savile was given a full set of keys which gave him, as an “honorary entertainments officer”, complete access to every part of what was supposed to be a secure institution containing dangerous prisoners.  His Personal Assistant described his access to the ‘secure’ hospital as Total”.
  • Savile is alleged to have used this unrestricted access to sexually assault patients. He had access to patients bathrooms and it is alleged he was allowed to watch while female patients were bathed, although he was not a member of the medical staff and this had nothing to do with his role as “honorary entertainments officer” at Broadmoor.
  • Savile had an official office, a garage and a bedroom at Broadmoor, to which he is alleged to have brought underage girls after hours.
  • One member of staff, Mr Ray Rowden, was so shocked at Savile’s free access as a non-qualified person, to a high secure environment containing deeply disturbed, dangerous patients, that he says he made a complaint to the then General Manager Mr Alan Franey (subsequently Chief Executive of Broadmoor) about it.  He also states that Mr Franey ignored his complaint.

Mr Franey was interviewed on the ITV programme and (incredibly) confirmed that he allowed Mr Savile access to every part of the supposedly secure hospital except patients bedrooms.

It therefore seems to me that Mr Franey’s decision to allow Savile’s access was extraordinary; particularly as former members of staff – many of them experts in recognising psychiatric disorder – have alleged it was well known that Savile was a threat and have also alleged that complaints about him were routinely ignored.

So why should Mr Franey ignore procedures to restrict access, which were designed to protect patients and staff and which it was his duty to uphold?  

And why would Jimmy Savile sponsor Mr Franey’s appointment to a sensitive and specialist rôle requiring extensive experience in security, mental  health and the criminal justice system when he had no experience in any of these critically important fields?

The Leeds General Infirmary connection

Mr Franey, was a very close personal friend of Savile and they maintained this lifelong friendship long after they had both departed from Broadmoor, right up until Savile’s death.

They first met at the Leeds General Infirmary when Savile worked there as a volunteer porter and where Mr Franey was a member of the management team from 1975 to 1985. They socialised together and he was a close member of Savile’s set. It has been alleged that Mr Franey’s used to drive Savile around nightclubs in Leeds in the 1980s, although Mr Franey denies this.

There have subsequently been allegations that Savile was allowed complete access at the Leeds General Infirmary, that he abused patients at the Leeds General Infirmary there and clubbers at nightclubs he managed in the city, detaining them in the boiler-room and abusing them once the club was closed.

The programme alleges that Savile requested Mr Franey for appointment to Broadmoor and was present when the rôle was discussed with Mr Franey by civil servants at Savile’s private club in London (the Athenium).

Mr Franey had no experience in secure hospitals, the mental health system or criminal justice system, but was nevertheless appointed to a senior role in Broadmoor in 1988 – where this experience would normally have been a pre-requisite – at Savile’s own request, and stayed there for nine years.

According to the Telegraph, Mr Franey took early retirement from Broadmoor following an inquiry into the hospital in March 1997. The inquiry followed claims made in newspapers that a child pornography-ring was operating at Broadmoor.

Although the full report was never published, a summary found no evidence to support the allegations but made some criticisms of lax security while pointing out the hospital had actually improved under Mr Franey’s management; this despite the fact that Savile could “come and go as he pleased”.

Mr Franey is vehement that he only resigned because he wished to write a book and was ready to retire.

An inquiry into Ashworth Special Hospital in 1999 found serious concerns about security and abuses that came about from poor management and as a result, the security at all secure mental hospitals was reviewed. In 2003, the BBC reported that there had been allegations of high levels of sexual abuse of female patients at Broadmoor and that reports of abuse were routinely ignored.

The Scarborough and Whitby connection

Mr Franey, along with Mr Jimmy Corrigan, Mr Neil Littlewood and Mr Howard Silverman, gave a tribute to Jimmy Savile on “This is Your Life”, and they were collectively described as ‘special mates’ who all ran marathons together with Jimmy Savile. A clip is available here, where they are all shown (at 5m39s) wearing their uniform club running strip.

On Savile’s death, Mr Franey gave his close friend a fullsome and heartfelt tribute:

  • I spent a lot of time with him and would say I knew him probably as well as anybody else knew him . . . I spoke to him last Wednesday and asked him how he was, and he said he was feeling very tired and short of breath. Mentally, he was very alert. But he said to me: ‘I’m coming to the end of the tunnel’.

How can it be right for someone whose friendship for this man was so close to be put in charge of him at Broadmoor? How could he be expected to maintain detachment and exercise impartial control over him?

Could it be that Jimmy Savile – a highly intelligent, ruthless and cunning man – selected Mr Franey for the post precisely because he knew he could not? We will never know.

One of the Real Whitby articles on Savile contains a photograph of Jimmy Savile and his close friends from his running-club, running in Scarborough, including the late Mr Jimmy Corrigan. They are all shown wearing their uniform club running-strip.

Mr Franey’s friends, Mr Corrigan and Jimmy Savile, have been alleged in the national press to have been ‘persons of interest’ to North Yorkshire Police during an investigation into a paedophile-ring in Scarborough in 2003.

This ring is alleged to have included a number of highly influential people, including His Worship the Mayor of Scarborough Mr Peter Jaconelli (also of interest to the Police in 2003) and, of course, Jimmy Savile himself. As a result of the 2003 investigation two other men were convicted of abusing girls in Scarborough; John Thomas White was jailed for 20 sex offences. Another man, Brian Rutter, was later cleared on appeal.

Real Whitby investigative-journalist Nigel Ward has independently established that some members of Savile’s “Scarborough and Whitby set” including Jaconelli were active in Whitby in a group they called “the club” which it is alleged had access to a room with a “whipping post” in it.

According to press reports, there were allegations about Savile made during the 2003 police investigation, yet they ignored this line of enquiry and Savile was never even interviewed by North Yorkshire Police.

The North Yorkshire Police position on Savile is:

  • When the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile were publicised, we carried out extensive searches of force records which did not reveal a local connection.” 

 Although it is absolutely clear that a prominent local connection did exist and according to at least one Real Whitby reader/commenter the Police must have known about it:

  • It is impossible for . . . Scarborough Police in particular not to be aware of either Savile or Jaconelli’s activities. Everybody I knew in the 70’s and 80’s knew Jaconelli’s reputation. Whether he was guilty or not is almost irrelevant. The fact is the town was alive with rumours and accusations which should have been, at the very least, investigated. The Police are saying there is no record of an investigation; outrageous. I frankly don’t believe that. I heard a story, again maybe not true, that one youngster’s family were paid-off by Jaconelli to keep quite. That was at the time he was a Councillor for the Barrowcliff ward. If I heard that story, hundreds of others did as well.  Where the police aware of that? If not, how did they miss it, it was common currency in Scarborough.”

There is a pattern emerging here; a pattern of complaints about Savile being universally ignored by the various authorities at the major Saville locations because of his status and connections.

Esther Rantzen appeared on the ITV Exposure documentary, responding to the allegations about Jimmy Savile’s sexual assaults on young girls, and admitted she had known of the rumours and had not done anything. As a consequence the dedicated campaigner against child abuse was removed as one of The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) patrons, after a lifetime of devoted service to the protection of children.  Another of Savile’s victims, who at least had the honesty to confirm what was actually going on.

The ITV programme aired on Wednesday last alleges that although complaints were made about Savile to the Police in Leeds, they were ignored and associates of Savile have alleged that he routinely bribed police officers there.

Mr Savile’s PA has alleged that Savile’s fundraising was so important to Stoke Mandeville Hospital and complaints would have been ignored because of his celebrity status and because his fund-raising activities were too important to the hospital.

Mr Franey stated that he has no recollection of Mr Rowden’s complaint at Broadmoor and that it was not Mr Rowden’s place to raise these concerns anyway. This, of course, is incorrect. All members of staff have a duty to report anything which endangers patient safety or the security of the hospital.

Further, if Mr Franey had ensured that the normal security procedures for a secure unit had been observed, or Mr Rowden’s concerns had been addressed, the vulnerable patients Mr Franey was responsible for would have been protected and perfectly safe from his close and dear friend Mr Savile.

The former Chief Inspector Tom Fox commanding policing in Scarborough even recommended Savile to be an Honorary Freeman of the Borough when, as Councillor Tom Fox, he was also Leader of the Council!

It appears that North Yorkshire Police and the press backed off from investigating Savile because of his prominent position and friends, as everyone else did. The then Chief Inspector Tom Fox, who commanded policing in Scarborough at that time, even recommended Savile to be an Honorary Freeman of the Borough, when as Councillor Tom Fox he was Leader of the Council, after Savile had been the subject of police interest in 2003!

To be fair, North Yorkshire was probably no different in relation to Scarborough and Whitby.  Jaconelli was a prominent local business man, Scarborough Councillor, County Councillor and the Mayor of Scarborough. Jimmy Saville was a major media-personality connected at the highest levels in Yorkshire, nationally and internationally, who cultivated close relations with the Police and is alleged to have routinely bribed Police Officers.

Although Real Whitby has developed a lot of fresh information on Savile and his associates in Whitby, which was previously unknown and have formally passed this information to North Yorkshire Police through the force website, in response North Yorkshire Police have not acknowledged it or confirmed what action they have taken over it, nor have they contacted us or shown any interest in responding or aggressively investigating this matter.

In short, they appear to be adopting exactly the same ineffective response now, that they did when Savile was alive, presumably to escape any criticism over their failure to arrest him.

Councillor Fox is refusing to comment on what he knew when he was responsible for policing in Scarborough. Neither the Chief Constable or the then Chief Inspector Fox (Retired) have offered any explanation for the failure of their force to protect local people by breaking up a paedophile-ring that was operating fairly openly in the area, or indeed any apology or expression of regret for their failure.

They have confined their actions to removing all traces of Savile from Scarborough, and although we continue to hope for a full statement, as it currently stands their position remains the ridiculous and blatantly untenable:

  • When the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile were publicised, we carried out extensive searches of force records which did not reveal a local connection.

One detects here the pungent tang of bullshit in the rarified atmosphere surrounding Chief Inspector Tom Fox (Retired) at his new office at the Town Hall.

It is time for Chief Inspector Fox (Retired) and Chief Constable Madgwick to clear the air with a full statement.

Related reading:

About the Author:

Website Admin for the Real Whitby Website. All authors of the Real Whitby Website have access to publish on the website. Individual authors will usually sign off their articles with their own names.


  1. Frank Chalmers November 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    It really is time Tom Fox told us what he knows about this!

    It’s a disgrace that he hasn’t bothered to say a word.

  2. Abhaas Patel November 28, 2012 at 11:20 am - Reply

    There is a rumour that the Government has slapped a ‘D’ Notice on the Saville abuse.

  3. sarraceniac November 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Just in the interests of journalistic integrity Tim, I should point out that Jaconelli was not a councillor for Barrowcliffe ward, there never was a Barrowcliffe ward, Barrowcliffe is basically a street. He was a councillor for Woodlands ward which includes both Barrowcliffe and Briercliffe. Somebody may pick it up as an indication that the entire story is wrong on this small (and minor) point.

  4. Nigel Ward November 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    The fact of the matter, here, is that SBC Leader Councillor Tom Fox quite simply CANNOT provide an answer to the question I put to him on 25th October 2012:

    “Would the Leader confirm or deny that, as a former ranking Police Officer in Scarborough, and as long-serving leading Councillor since that time, he was aware that elements within the Authorities were cognisant of concerns of the gravest nature in respect of the activities of Sir Jimmy Savile, yet nevertheless played a leading role in the lavish civic honours bestowed upon a man now widely reviled as the worst and most degenerate sexual predator in the Borough’s history?”

    The question itself is unwieldy. That is because, when dealing with politicians, care needs to be taken to avoid leaving any convenient loophole through which a disingenuous response may creep away unnoticed. In more straightforward parlance, the question can be reduced to this:

    “Isn’t it true, Tom, that you were AWARE, during your service with North Yorkshire Police, of a number of allegations against Jimmy Savile – and that you took no action – and, further, that you chose NOT to alert the Council to those concerns when you shepherded the Savile ‘ Freeman of the Borough’ process through Council in 2005?”

    Councillor Tom Fox CANNOT respond to this question, because (a) if he admits that this conjecture is true, he forfeits all credible claim to public office, or (b) if he denies it, he runs the risk of evidence being produced that gives the lie to his denial – thus forfeiting all credible claim to public office.


    So he remains silent, hoping never to have to answer the question – or, at least, not until after the next election.

    He has remained silent, too, on the subject of him making a false and throughly disingenuous statement ‘live’ on Radio York recently. Real Whitby investigative-journalist Tim Thorne lodged a formal complaint two months ago, on 30th September 2012. Response? Not a dicky bird.


    Councillor Formal Complaint submitted to SBC 30/09/2012 by Tim Thorne

    On Friday 14th September 2012, Councillor Tom Fox featured in a ‘live’ interview with Radio York presenter Jonathan Cowap.
    I phoned Radio York and questioned Councillor Fox whether it was fair that husband and wife Councillors both received Internet Allowance from SBC given that they shared the same Broadband connection.

    Cllr Fox responded “It was an allowance, not an expense and that allowance covered a multitude of things including telephone calls as well as Broadband and facilities for allowing the computers to work including paper, including print cartridges, etc etc.”

    The segment can be listened to here if you want to corroborate those words:

    After having enquired further it is apparent that Cllr Fox has grossly misinformed the public with regard to the expenses he has received. The allowance is actually for:

    “The panel were informed that the present scheme provided a Basic Allowance for Members of £255 per annum or £21.25 per month is to cover the cost of a member obtaining Broadband connection and the sundry costs of running a computer and other telecommunication equipment.”


    I’ve further interviewed a number of Councillors and they corroborate the fact that the Internet Allowance does not cover Telephone Calls, Print Cartridges or Paper. In fact, they inform me that Print Cartridges and Paper are freely available from the Town Hall. They also inform me that Telephone Calls are covered in the Basic Allowance.
    I am complaining because I believe that Cllr Fox has brought himself and the Council into disrepute by grossly misinforming the public with regard to the expenses he has received.

    Kind regards,
    Tim Thorne

    All this is very reminiscent of Councillor Tom Fox’s silence on the matter of the true cost of the i-Pads for Councillors. Again, it was Tim Thorne who meticulously proved that, far from being a snap at £160 a piece (as Fox informed Full Council), they actually came in at £405 – and that was without the accessories and Apps:

    And then there was the blatant misinformation about the true costs associated with Councillor Tom Fox’s wish to abandon the Town Hall on St Nicholas Street in favour of a semi-derelict office building out of town:

    The conclusion that Councillor Tom Fox is ‘economical with the truth’ is euphemistic in the extreme.

    Like all elected public servants, he is impervious to criticism and (seemingly) to complaint. He is, for the moment, unaccountable to the electorate.

    But he is not impervious to the content of the Ballot Box . . .

  5. DKP November 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    “‘White witch coven’ took part ritualistic sex abuse of young girls, court told”

    Couldn’t happen here though, could it?

    Could it?

    Did it?

  6. Nigel Ward December 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    I can now confirm that Tom BROWN’s 30th October FOIA request [N6212] to NYCC for information regarding allegations against Savile at 3 institutions – Throxenby Hall, Raincliffe School and Scarborough College – is now overdue and out-of-time.

    The response he received to an earlier FOIA request [N6168] of a similar nature, but broader in scope, was a refusal to disclose the information, on the grounds that it would be too costly for NYCC to search their records of every institution in the County.

    Having accepted and acknowledged Tom’s revised request [N6168], focussing on only three specific institutions, NYCC had 20 working-days in which to provide the information. How many allegations can there have been at just those three institutions, such that 20 working-days has not sufficed to provide Tom with the total number?

    If there had been just one at each of the three institutions – that would be appalling enough. But it does not take 20 days to count to three!

    So how many where there, then?

    I think we should be told. Perhaps someone who is on amicable terms with Mr Robert GOODWILL MP could persuade him to intercede – in the public interest, of course.

    • Nigel Ward December 4, 2012 at 10:27 am - Reply

      The long-awaited response to Tom BROWN’s FOIA about Savile complaints at Raincliffe school, Throxenby Hall and Scarborough College has come in and it makes for interesting reading. I reproduce the relavent passages here:


      Raincliffe School recently merged with Graham School. If you would like to ask Graham School about any complaints records they may still
      hold regarding Raincliffe School, you may contact them on


      Throxenby Hall used to be a residential school, but has been closed since 1995. I have asked our Archives section to search for any records they may still hold, but they have confirmed that we no longer hold any complaints records.


      Scarborough College is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3-18. So
      again any queries regarding school complaints will only be held by themselves, but please note that they are not subject to FOI. Their email addresses are:


      “It wasn’t me, sir. Some big boys did it and ran away!”

      Forty years of child-abuse in Savile’s absolutely favourite neighbourhood (he insisted on being buried there)and NYCC, the Local Education Authority, has no record of ever knowing anything about it.

      Yeah. Right.

  7. ian. January 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    I was a small boy when i went to throxenby hall in 1968, i was there at the hall for 6 years, in those 6 years i was very happy and felt cared for by staff, the staff were great. in 1974 when i left Throxenby hall saville never visited the hall. there was rumours about jaconelli who had ice cream parlour but just here rumours as a child was frightening.

  8. Billy Binns November 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Do you remember the Binns Brothers was Mr Mortispear there also Podgie Parfit and Nygel Tyson ?

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