Jimmy Savile: The Exeter Connection

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The recently published Giving Victims a Voice report claims that Jimmy Savile offended at an Exeter hospital in 1970.

The report summarises the findings of Operation Yewtree, the police operation launched to investigate sexual abuse following the Savile scandal.

The hospital was included in a list of 13 hospitals and hospices where Jimmy Savile is ‘reported to have offended’. The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has been made aware and its Chief Executive is to conduct an investigation.

Further allegations against Savile have been made by a former resident of Colleton Lodge, a children’s home in Exeter which closed in 1986. The report reads ‘Person A alleged that late one evening, Jimmy Savile and another man visited Colleton Lodge. After several hours he became aware that they were both in an adjacent bedroom which was occupied by a younger boy. He heard ‘haunting screams’ and formed the impression that Savile and/or the other man had sexually abused/assaulted that boy’. Person A alleges that he reported the incident to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary but that his claims were ‘rubbished’ by police officers. Devon and Cornwall Constabulary traced two former police officers from the time but neither recalled speaking to anyone regarding any safeguarding concerns relating to Savile.

Devon County Council was asked by the Government to investigate this allegation. The report makes several recommendations relating to the future protection of children in its care. As a consequence the Council is reviewing its systems for keeping of records for periods dating back longer than fifteen years. It has also said it is re-visiting its policy on sanctioned visits by people, including celebrities, to care facilities and ensuring all checks have been made when staff are involved in allegations of breach of safeguarding duties.

Councillor James McInners, Devon County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for children’s social work has been reported as saying, ‘The safeguarding of children in our care is something that we take extremely seriously, and it is vital that we constantly challenge ourselves and learn any lessons to improve things for the future’.

We have a team of specialist lawyers based at our Taunton office dealing with abuse compensation claims. If you, or anyone you know has been affected by abuse, email us or call for a confidential chat on 01823 354545