'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
Sport
Owen Farrell scores the first try of the Premiership final
rugby unionLive: All the latest from Twickenham for the Premiership final against Bath
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood
footballDanny Higginbotham: Tim Sherwood must play game of two halves to cause major upset
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: 3D CAD Designer - Exhibition Stands

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Rapid growth has seen a number ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Delegate Telesales Executive - OTE £21,000 uncapped

£16000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: High quality, dedicated Delegat...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor