Rape Victim Of Savile’s Brother Demands Apology After ‘Being Ignored For 20 Years’

Woman Seeking Justice After Repeated Cries For Help Following Abuse Were Not Acted Upon

26.02.2015

Lawyers representing a woman whose allegation of rape against Jimmy Savile’s brother was ignored for more than 20 years have revealed their determination to help her gain justice and the apology she deserves, after a new report confirmed her claims were not acted upon on numerous occasions.

The woman, who cannot be named, was unable to bring herself to speak to anyone for 12 years regarding the sexual assault which occurred at Springfield Hospital in Tooting in 1979, where Johnny Savile worked as an entertainments officer.

However, despite gaining the courage to tell the hospital’s staff, the police and her GP of the incident on numerous occasions between 1991 and 2012, no action was taken to investigate the claims. Johnny Savile died in 1998.

Following the revelations regarding widespread abuse by Jimmy Savile, the woman felt strong enough to instruct specialist abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in October 2012 for help in gaining justice regarding her ordeal and the launch of legal action against South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust led to a full inquiry into her case.

Released today, the full report from the inquiry – which refers to the woman as V2 – has concluded:

  • Based on evidence it is likely that an assault occurred in 1979
  • The Trust failed to take an opportunity to investigate the allegation in 2006, despite the fact it should have happened in line with policies in place at the time
  • That Johnny Savile was dismissed from his role for gross misconduct in 1980
  • That, on the balance of probability, several other allegations made against Johnny Savile were also true
Expert Opinion
Our client has faced an ordeal spanning more than 30 years, having to come to terms with not only hugely traumatic sexual abuse but also the nightmare of being ignored for more than 20 years.

"When my client first came to see me, I was aware that no one else had ever believed her. It was very important to give her a voice and so we wrote to the Trust with her account of these shocking and traumatic events.

"Bringing a civil claim is a very important part of my client’s healing process and she is very relieved that she is finally being heard. This, alongside the specialist therapy she needs, will help her overcome the trauma and move forward.

"Today’s report is a shocking, long overdue acknowledgement that there were clear failings in the handling of her allegations, meaning she faced the indignity of no one taking her claims seriously.

"We firmly believe that this enquiry should have happened years ago and it is unacceptable that it took the revelations of Operation Yewtree and our intervention for steps to be taken to fully investigate the allegations she made – and for this report to ultimately confirm that there were serious failings.

"It is vital that we now work quickly to progress her legal claim and ensure she gets the financial support which will help her access therapy and other treatment as she looks to move forward with her life."
Tracey Storey, Partner

According to today’s report, V2 alleged she was the victim of rape and sexual assault by Johnny Savile at Springfield Hospital in June 1979. However, she felt unable to speak about the incident until she was readmitted to the site in 1991, when she was able to provide a detail description of the events and where they occurred.

Her medical records show how between 1991 and 2012, there were 14 mentions of the rape to various healthcare professionals. However no action was taken to seriously investigate the allegations, with the report suggesting the trust missed an opportunity to do so in 2006.

V2 said: “My medical records show that the rape had been disclosed on 14 occasions starting in 1991.  I was not taken seriously and no investigation or enquiry took place until now. 

“Even though I was disclosing to medical professionals, no one offered me specialist treatment to deal with the assault and so I have had to live with this for many many years.”