London: Former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile sexually assaulted victims aged five to 75 in NHS hospitals over decades of unrestricted access, it has emerged.
He assaulted patients in bed, and claimed to have abused corpses, reviews into his conduct on NHS premises found, according to a report in the BBC.
The reports cover 28 hospitals including Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised to victims, saying Savile’s actions “will shake our country to the core”.
Savile, a Radio 1 DJ who also presented the BBC's Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, died aged 84 in October 2011 — a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in an ITV documentary. The reports on Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor are detailed and, at times, graphic.
“He was a sickening and prolific sexual abuser who repeatedly exploited the trust of a nation,” Mr Hunt said. Savile was allowed unsupervised access to vulnerable patients, with a failure to question the risks of his unconventional and promiscuous lifestyle.
According to the BBC, 60 people came forward to say they had been abused between the ages of five and 75, including staff. The shocking number offences ranged from lewd remarks to sexual assault and three cases of rape and took place between 1962 and 2009.
Savile had a well-known fixation with the dead and the report contains allegations he posed for photographs and performed sex acts on corpses in the hospital mortuary, the BBC said. While there is no way to verify the claim, Dr Sue Proctor, who led the Leeds inquiry, said there is no doubt controls on access to the mortuary were “lax”.
Patients, including teenagers recovering from surgery, were abused in their beds. A 10-year-old boy was sexually assaulted while he waited on a trolley for an x-ray on his broken arm, reports said.
The situation allowed someone “as manipulative as Savile to thrive and continue his abusive behaviour unchecked for years,” the Leeds investigation report said, according to the BBC and the Daily Mail....