Another day and another half dozen ‘truly awful, dreadful’ examples of the savage abuse Savile allegedly inflicted on vulnerable children in Children’s Homes.
Henshaw’s School for the Blind – the media version.
“Henshaws School for the Blindat centre of new Jimmy Savile claims”.
As you might imagine – being at the centre of the further allegations, especially in view of the additional vulnerability of its pupils, Henshaw’s mustered an impressive six heads of departments to devote part of their time to investigating:
A single allegation of sexual assault by Jimmy Savile (JS) of the complainant, then a 13-15 year old pupil at Henshaws School for the Blind (the School), when on a trip to a television studio in the mid-1970s (the Complaint).
They must have been worried sick. Six heads of Department. But, er…
The Team attempted to contact the complainant without success.
The notification of the complaint was by means of a Police Officer’s note of the telephone conversation with him on 21 October 2012. That note has not been seen or verified by the Complainant and therefore the Complaint cannot be reproduced in this report.
Being unable to discuss the Complaint with the complainant or to find any reference or witness recollection of the Complaint, the trip to the studio or the programme referred to we cannot corroborate the complaint.
The investigation team have not found evidence of any formal association between JS and the Charity, whether as a visitor, fundraiser, donor or volunteer. The Charity has no record of any access arrangements being requested or afforded to JS or of any checks about him being undertaken in the light of this.
They also go on to point out the blitheringly obvious – that given the nature of the disability of their pupils – they were always accompanied by a member of staff when away from the familiar surrounding of the school….
Penhurst Children’s Home – the media version.
“ACTION for Children is refusing to say when it expects to complete an investigation into whether Jimmy Savile abused severely disabled children in Chipping Norton.”
No media hype there – these children were emphatically ‘severely disabled’ – Penhrust cared for a large number of thalidomide victims. You can imagine the distress of the staff, fearing that in trying to brighten the lives of those children, they might inadvertently have put them in the hands of Britain’s ‘most prolific paedophile’.
True to form, the allegation arrived at Yewtree in an anonymous letter.
The information regarding Action for Children was contained in an anonymous letter, which stated that “Jimmy Savile made several visits to The National Children’s Home,Penhurst, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire during the 1970s when it was home to a large number of thalidomide victims.”
A total of 153 former staff members who worked at the school at the time were contacted by letter – only one had any recollection of Savile – that he opened a fete in the 1970s, and departed ‘shortly afterwards’. Nine former students of Penhurst were contacted, none of these students had any recollection of ever seeing Savile at Penhurst.
The conclusion of this Investigation is that it is likely that Savile did visit Penhurst School in the 1970s. It is likely that he opened a school fete, albeit the only evidence to support this conclusion arises from one former staff member.
Meanwhile, hundreds of parents of past students, many of whom would have inevitably passed away by now, will have had sleepless nights having read the BBC site, wondering if terrible things had happened to their vulnerable children. They hadn’t – it is just possible that their lives might have been brightened by a short visit to open a fete by one J Savile.
Parkland’s Children’s Home – the media version.
Did Savile target Gloucestershire children’s home? – ITV Live update.
It is alleged by Ruth that during her stay in Parklands Children’s unit in Gloucestershire, she was sexually assaulted on one occasion during a night when she was sleeping in her bed. She believes this was by Jimmy Savile and another male adult.
The enquiry has taken 11 months to fully investigate.
This investigation started on the 1st April 2014. Since then an interview with Ruth has taken place and a full and extensive research through available files, council minutes, newspaper articles and past and present policies has been undertaken. It has not been possible to find any recorded evidence to confirm that Jimmy Savile or any other celebrity had access … at Parklands during the period of time relevant to the alleged incident. Ruth has taken part willingly and has described her time at Parklands with much clarity for the most part but has never really been certain about her recollection of Jimmy Savile.
The main conclusion of this investigation is that there is no evidence to confirm that Jimmy Savile visited Parklands Children’s Unit during the timeframe of this investigation (1977 –1981).
The Little Ride Children’s Home, Brentford – no media version.
Carol Hamilton got the job of investigating the claims of:
XX, now an adult, that he was sexually abused on three separate occasions by Jimmy Savile (JS) when he was aged 4-5 years whilst he and his brother XY, were resident at the Little Ride Children’s Home in Brentford from March 1985 until October 1986. The exact dates of the abuse are not known.
The investigation team could not find any evidence of JS visiting the Little Ride during the period of time that XX was a resident. The investigation could not find any media reports reporting JS visiting The Little Ride or anywhere else in the London Borough of Hounslow during the relevant period.The independent investigator could not find any evidence to corroborate the allegations made by XX and it was not possible to conclude that the alleged incidents took place.
The ‘Little Ride’ report is particularly worth reading in full. You can only feel sorrow for the unhappy man ‘XX’ has become.
Sevenoaks school – the media version:
A SCHOOL in Sevenoaks is at the centre of an investigation into historical child abuse by Jimmy Savile. [Ed: I thought Henshaw’s was at the centre?]
Interestingly – Sevenoaks haven’t published their full report, I only have the executive version, and only the Governors have the full version – they have promised to come back to me if they think I can see the full versions….so I don’t know who investigated for them, or on what basis they decided the following:
A former pupil said that “Savile attended Sevenoaks School re a charity event for Stoke Mandeville and took a boy called ‘X’ in his car who came back having possibly been abused.”
The investigation established that whilst undertaking an eighty mile sponsored walk from London to Eastbourne, Jimmy Savile stopped at Sevenoaks School for a brief rest on the afternoon of Monday 24 April 1978.That was the only occasion on which Jimmy Savile visited the School.He did not enter any School building.
The investigation identified, located and then contacted ‘X’, the person referred to by the informant as the alleged victim.‘X’ responded immediately giving his recollection of the visit by Jimmy Savile.He concluded his reply by saying that “nothing inappropriate happened or could possibly have happened” during the visit by Jimmy Savile.
After this was put to the informant, he readily and immediately withdrew the identification of ‘X’ as the alleged victim, but then indicated that the alleged victim must have been one of the other boarders.He did not know which. Further interviews corroborated ‘X’’s account in all relevant respects.
The investigation therefore concluded that the suggestion made by the informant that ‘X’ might have been abused was unfounded, and that there was no evidence to show that any other pupil was the victim of abuse by Jimmy Savile.
St Leonard’s Children’s Homes, Tower Hamlets – the media version:
Five London councils were today told to investigate claims that sex predator Jimmy Savile targeted children’s homes in their boroughs.
G had complained that, in 1976 or 1977, whilst he was a resident at St Leonards, he had been taken to the BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, London to watch a recording of the programme “Jim’ll Fix It”, hosted by Savile. He alleged that Savile invited him into his dressing room and sexually assaulted him.
Looks promising – at least he had the right venue for Jim’ll Fix It….
He did not wish to be interviewed further about this matter. It would appear that he wanted this incident to be placed on record as further evidence of the abuse perpetrated by Savile.
A review of Mr G’s records, files pertaining to St Leonards and police files in relation to the investigation of allegations of abuse that occurred at St Leonards did not reveal any link between the children’s home and Savile.
The records did show that St Leonards Children’s Home would arrange for the hire of a minibus and driver from time to time to take young people on outings. However, there was no record of a trip to a recording of “Jim’ll Fix It”, the BBC television Theatre or Shepherd’s Bush in the 1970s.
However, there was another separate investigation into abuse at St Leonards and the police investigation into concluded that Mr G was a victim of abuse. We do not know whether this was sexual in nature.
The Dame Janet Smith Review team at the BBC were asked if they had any information that would provide evidence of a link between Jimmy Savile and/or “Jim’ll Fix It” and/or St Leonards Children’s Home and/or Tower Hamlets; they couldn’t.
Last but not least:
The Hollie’s Children’s Homes – the media version:
“Hollies Children’s Home residents asked to call Savile helpline with claims of abuse“.
Andy Quin and a ‘steering group’ waited with baited breath – what horrors would unfold, in addition to the original allegation, which was?
That ‘X’ had made an allegation of abuse whilst at The Hollies – but this did not involve Savile.
As a result of a request to the press to urge former children to ‘come forward’, ‘A’ alleged that when at the Hollies, he came across Savile in the grounds of the home. He says he was taken by Savile to a flat in the local area and then sexually assaulted by him before being returned to the children’s home. “A” says that prior to this incident he experienced sexual assaults from an employee at the Hollies. He also says that in the period following the abuse by Savile he was sexually exploited by a Southwark Council Social Worker. All his allegations – those against Savile and those against the other two individuals – were pursued by thePolice.
There is no information in the available documents that support “A”’s account of abuse by Savile. Given the size of the establishment, and its openness to use by community groups in the 1960s, it would not have been difficult for members of the public to enter the grounds as “A” claims Savile did. “A” has been interviewed but no other person has come forward as a victim or witness who might support “A”’s claims. The adults “A” names as witnesses to these events are dead. He was subsequently advised by the Police that due to the fact that all three alleged perpetrators are deceased there would be no further action by way of a criminal investigation.
There are another three reports that I haven’t yet read – two contain allegations which do not refer to Savile at all, and the third is on hold due to ‘a police investigation’.
What can I say? I have diligently gone through all the reports of Schools and Children’s Homes, and have either found that there is no trace of the allegator ever having been in that home, or no trace of Savile ever having been in the area – or there was no allegation in the first place, merely a report that he had found time to open a fete…surely Peter Spindler would have based his ‘most prolific paedophile’ on some more substantial evidence than this? Wouldn’t he?