Predator Savile’s attack on victim at High Royds

Ilkley Gazette: Jimmy Savile Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile sexually assaulted a victim at High Royds Psychiatric Hospital in Menston, a report by police and the NSPCC has revealed.

The attack happened in 1989, a year after the disgraced DJ attended the institution’s cent- enary celebrations.

The findings of Operation Yewtree show a total of 450 people have alleged sexual abuse against Savile since his death.

The allegations include 34 of rape and 126 of indecent acts, the report said. Of his alleged victims, 73 per cent were children, with the total victim age range between eight and 47 at the time of the offences.

Commander Peter Spindler, who is leading the investigation into Savile’s abuse, said: “Savile’s offending footprint was vast, predatory and oppor- tunistic. He cannot face justice today, but we hope this report gives some comfort to his hundreds of victims. They have been listened to and taken seriously.”

Mr Spindler said so far, 617 people had made contact with officers investigating claims against Savile and other figures in the entertain-ment industry, with 450 relating to Savile.

The police report found that the earliest reported offence committed by Savile was in Manchester in 1955 and the final reported allegation was in 2009.

It was in 1988 that Savile was a guest at a garden party to celebrate High Royds’ 100th anniversary, said local historian Mark Davis.

“He was a frequent visitor. It was one of the many places he visited. He literally had the country at his feet,” said Mr Davis, a trustee of the Friends of High Royds Memorial Garden.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commiss-ioner Mark Burns- Williamson said he would make every effort to contact the High Royds victim.

He said: “While the prospect of any prosecution died with Jimmy Savile, that doesn’t lessen the responsibility we have to victims. They have lived with what happened for far too long.

“My message to past, current and future victims of such crimes is not to suffer in silence.

“Historically, victims may have been afraid to come forward for understandable reasons. But I urge them to speak out and to be assured it will be investigated sensitively, thoroughly and professionally.”

Regarding High Royds and 16 offences at Leeds General Infirmary, one at St James’s Hospital and one at Dewsbury Hospital, West Yorkshire Police said: “We continue to liaise closely with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree inquiry. A total of 40 inquiries have so far been returned to West Yorkshire Police for investigation.

“Our focus is on assisting and supporting the victims, given there is no suspect, forensic evidence or witnesses in most cases.

“While we have not conducted any historic investigations in West Yorkshire, since this issue came to recent public attention we received a number of calls, some of which make allegations against Jimmy Savile of a sexual nature.

“None of these incidents alleged any failure by police to investigate previously.”

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