'Savile assaulted me in his room at Stoke Mandeville'

 

Media Editor

Further allegations of sexual assault were made against Jimmy Savile last night, as yet more women came forward to say that they had been attacked by the former television star.

Debbie Curtis alleged that the disgraced presenter sexually assaulted her at his room in the nurses' quarters at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Speaking to ITV News, Ms Curtis said Savile invited her to his room for a coffee during a visit to see spinal patients when she was 22. She claimed he groped her, blocked the door despite her protests and she had to knee him in the groin to escape.

In a development that will raise further questions over the role of the hospital's management at the time, a former Director of Nursing and Patient Care said staff were afraid to challenge Savile over fears he would stop fundraising for them.

Christine McFarlane – who worked there in the 80s and 90s – told ITV News: "There was a fear of him taking something away. He argued that it was his and not theirs."

Another potential victim, a former patient at Broadmoor, told ITV News that she was put in solitary confinement after complaining that Savile had groped her.

The new allegations came as senior BBC journalists said they were "horrified" by the limited nature of an official inquiry into why a Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile was controversially dropped last year.

Sources inside the BBC claimed that Nick Pollard, the distinguished former head of Sky News who is conducting the review for the BBC, is "being held on a short leash" to limit criticism of the organisation. Newsnight journalists, including Jeremy Paxman and Kirsty Wark, have yet to be called for interview, 15 days after Mr Pollard was appointed to carry out his inquiry.

This has prompted concerns that the review will focus only on the decision to drop the Savile story and not on the "broader culture" in the BBC that may have led to the investigation being quashed.

It is understood that the inquiry is focused tightly on emails and conversations between Newsnight editor Peter Rippon and the two journalists who worked on the Savile investigation, Meirion Jones and Liz MacKean, and that these individuals will be interviewed by Mr Pollard.

One BBC insider said: "Pollard needs to get answers not just about any email trail about the [Savile] decision but about the culture created within the management team."

The BBC last night declined to comment on the scope of the Pollard review. An outline of the inquiry's procedures and timetable is expected to be released today. A spokesman for the BBC Trust said it had "every confidence" in the review. "We will keep in contact with the review team to ensure it is getting the resources and co-operation it requires," he added.

The Pollard Review

The former head of Sky News has been appointed to find out "whether there were any failings in the BBC's management of the Newsnight investigation relating to allegations of sexual abuse of children by Jimmy Savile, including the broadcast of tribute programmes on the BBC".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm - London

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Accountant -Home Entertainment

£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Accountant -Home Entertainment

£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project