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Bucks hospital chiefs shocked by Jimmy Savile claims
BUCKS health chiefs say they are shocked by claims that Sir Jimmy Savile sexually abused underage girls – including one incident alleged to have happened at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
An ITV documentary called Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile is set to air tomorrow, which details claims from women dating to the 1970s.
Sir Jimmy, who died last year, was well known in Bucks after spending much of his life raising millions of pounds for the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the county’s hospitals, said it is “shocked to hear of these allegations about the deceased Jimmy Savile, a major supporter and fundraiser for Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
“Bearing in mind the very serious nature of the allegations and long period of time that has since elapsed, the Trust does not feel it appropriate to comment further at this time, but would of course co-operate fully if the appropriate authorities decide to investigate and call upon us for input.
“We are unaware of any record or reports of inappropriate behaviour of this nature during Sir Jimmy Savile's work with the Trust.”
One woman featured in the ITV show, who is anonymous, said she met the TV star in the 70s after writing to tell him about a choir she was in.
When the choir performed at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, she says he telephoned her and said he would come and watch.
According to a press release from ITV, the woman says: “After the concert, while everyone was getting on the coach to leave, I ran up to him to let him know I was the one who had sent him the letter about the choir.
“Before I knew what had happened he’d stuck his tongue into my mouth. It didn’t seem to bother him that other people could have seen what he was doing.
“I was just so shocked. I pulled away and dashed onto the coach. I couldn’t believe what had happened.
“Looking back now, as an adult, I realise he’d been grooming me by calling me at home and arranging to come and see me in the choir. So many people looked up to him – including me...”
Aylesbury resident Janet Cope, who was Sir Jimmy’s assistant for 40 years, is quoted in a national newspaper saying: "I never had an inkling of him taking advantage of young girls.
“If there had been I'd have tried to stop it. But if the documentary conclusively proves his guilt then I'd be really shocked.”
Meanwhile, Sir Jimmy’s nephew Roger Foster, from East Yorkshire, has hit out at ITV for broadcasting the claims when his uncle is unable to defend himself. ITV says it stands by the documentary.