Revelations about the scale of the abuse by Jimmy Savile at Leeds hospitals could be a setback for victims who have been trying to come to terms with their ordeal at the hands of the shamed DJ, it is feared.
An inquiry into sexual abuse carried out by the presenter revealed he had 60 victims at local hospitals aged between five and 75, the majority at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), as his regular presence gave him “something akin to invisibility”.
It uncovered three rapes committed by Leeds-born Savile at the city’s hospitals as part of a pattern of “truly awful” abuse against patients at 32 health sites around the country.
In one case, a young teenage victim in the 1960s was raped by Savile and was thought to be pregnant, with Savile as the potential father.
Savile, who had an office at the hospital from 1992 to 2011, preyed on a number of young vulnerable patients and even told how he had performed sex acts on corpses in the mortuary.
Maggie Button, one of a number of trained West Yorkshire volunteers from the charity Victim Support brought in to help Savile’s victims while the investigation was carried out, said their involvement had given those targeted by the the DJ “time to open up”.
She said: “The thing I have found through the last year, you can take someone so far and they are really doing well and then suddenly his face is on TV again. That is one of the biggest complaints - ‘I was doing so well and then this image comes up’.
“I suspect, given my experience of working with people who are victims of serious crime when this reports comes out it could result in people going back to the very beginning, the support will go on after the report is out.”
One victim whose account was featured in the report told BBC Radio Leeds yesterday of his regret that Savile died before he could be brought to account for his five decades of abuse.
The man was on the children’s ward being treated for a “chronic clinical problem” in the early 1970s when a film crew recorded Savile pretending to take his blood pressure.
He said: “They didn’t see what happened afterwards. He abused me, when the film crew left there was only me and Jimmy Savile there. I remember him putting his hand under the quilt and touching my privates.
“I tried telling my mum, I told my brother, my mum didn’t believe me because of who he was. When he died I felt sad, because he had got away with all those charges.”
Anyone who believes they were a victim of Savile or any other form of sexual abuse should call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or Victim Support on 0300 303 1971.