Rolf Harris visited Broadmoor Hospital and may have been able to watch female patients undress, an independent investigator who compiled the report into Jimmy Savile’s activities has conceded.
The West London Mental Health NHS Trust confirmed to The Independent that Harris is understood to have visited the hospital in 1973 accompanied by Savile. A spokesperson for the Trust said the disgraced entertainer was escorted by staff at all times and there was no suggestion of inappropriate behaviour or incident during the visit.
In a statement, independent investigator Dr Bill Kirkup CBE said it was usual practice then for female patients to have to undress in front of “staff and others”, and Harris may have seen patients undress.
The report found that Savile would watch female patients as they stripped and undressed while lined up in corridors in front of staff, a practice which was common until at least the late 1980s.
It states: “Until at least the late 1980s, female patients were obliged to strip completely to change into nightwear and to take baths, watched by staff. We conclude that Savile would sometimes attend wards at these times and watch.”
Rolf Harris: A life in pictures
Rolf Harris: A life in pictures
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Rolf Harris in 'Stars on Sunday' TV Programme (1969 -1979)
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Rolf Harris and his daughter painting a wall together, 1967
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Rolf Harris on the 'Rolf Harris Show', 1973
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Rolf Harris in 1968
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Rolf Harris smiles during the 'The Rolf Harris Show' in 1973
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Rolf Harris with art book he wrote for children in London, 1978
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Australian entertainer Rolf Harris gets ready to blow his didgeridoo to promote a concert at Central Hall, Westminster, staged to raise money for research into cancer in children at the Royal Marsden Hospital.
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Rolf Harris sketches a picture of Bambi, 1986
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Rolf Harris and his wife at the David Frost's Society Party in London, 2001
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Rolf Harris performing at Glastonbury 2010
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Rolf Harris performs in 'The Rolf Harris Show' in 1973
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"Rolf Harris" book signing in London, 2010
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Rolf Harris with his portrait of the Queen at a London art gallery in 2010
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Rolf Harris at the Daily Mirror's Pride Of Britain Awards 2012 in London
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Rolf Harris and his wife Alwen attend the Press & VIP preview at The Chelsea Flower Show at Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, 2010
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Rolf Harris surrounded by media leaves City of Westminster Magistrates Courts in London, 2013
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Entertainer Rolf Harris and his wife Alwen Hughes (L) arrive at Southwark Crown Court in central London, 6 May, 2014
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Rolf Harris is surrounded by members of the media as he leaves Westminster Magistrates Court, in central London, 2013
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Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, 27 June 2014
However, there is no mention of other people outside of other patients, staff and Savile being able to see patients in a state of undress.
Independent investigator Dr Bill Kirkup CBE told The Independent: “The investigation team thoroughly examined the evidence of Rolf Harris’s activities at Broadmoor Hospital when he visited the hospital once in 1973.
Video: Rolf Harris meets Jimmy Savile
“We heard evidence from staff and patients at the time that Harris was escorted by members of staff at all times during this visit. As the report identifies, it was, regrettably, usual practice then for female patients to have to undress in front of staff and others, and it is possible that Harris saw this. With that one exception, we found no evidence of any inappropriate behaviour during his visit.
“It is important to stress that Harris never had keys to Broadmoor Hospital nor was he given unrestricted access to patient wards as Jimmy Savile was. Harris visited the hospital only on that one occasion."
One ex-patient, Steven George, who attended Broadmoor before undergoing a sex change, claimed Harris turned up one evening “out of the blue” as patients were getting ready for bed – outside of the 10am to 4pm visiting hours.
George, born Alison Pink, said of the visit: “He was being shown around by Savile in an understated way. Normally stars only came if they were there for an official performance but Harris didn’t do one.
“It was also unusual because visitors would come at visiting hours, between 10am and 4pm, but they came in as we were getting ready for bed.”
A spokesperson for the hospital said that "others’ referred to staff, Savile and other patients, and said it could not confirm what time Harris visited the hospital. They said the investigation did not state the nature of his visit. They added: “If anyone has further evidence to give to the investigation, the team at Broadmoor Hospital can be contacted on 01344-754122.”
The news comes as officers from Operation Yewtree, the national inquiry set up in the wake of the Savile scandal, have said they will continue to investigate allegations as it emerged that a further 13 women had contacted the children’s charity the NSPCC claiming they too were abused by Harris.Reuse content