As part of the Metropolitan Police Operation Yewtree investigations into Jimmy Savile, details emerged of Britain’s most high profile paedophile abusing a girl at Prestwich Hospital fifty years earlier.
A subsequent investigation by Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust looked into claims by Ms C that she was brought to the Prestwich Hospital site in 1960 and sexually abused by Bury New Road resident Savile, and concluded that the ‘alleged incidents are likely to have occurred’…
“The witness statement provided to the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] alleges that she was brought to the Prestwich Psychiatric Hospital site when she was about seven or eight years old by Savile along with another unidentified male” the report states “The visit was used as a threat to her in so far as if she disclosed the abuse she was being subjected to she would be brought back to the hospital and locked away with the patients.”
The report adds: “Ms C describes being taken to a room at the back of the hospital site by Savile and another unidentified male. The ward smelt horrible, had excrement everywhere and had within it naked male patients [who, she said were ‘out of it’]. Ms C alleges she was told by Savile that if she ever told anyone about the abuse she was suffering she would be brought back and locked in the room with the men.”
Ms C also claimed that, subsequently, “Savile brought her onto the Prestwich Psychiatric Hospital site and she was taken to an empty ward and subsequently sexually abused by Savile and an unidentified male…”
The report explained that “The absence of any perimeter security at the time would have meant that is was feasible for Savile to have brought her onto the hospital site without being stopped or challenged. To take her onto a ward he would have needed the assistance of a key holding member of staff. This could have been any one of the large number of staff who held the keys to the male wards.
“From her reference to ‘a room at the back of the hospital’, and her subsequent description of the environment and the patients, it appears most likely that the ‘room’ was located on one of the male wards on the Annexe” the report confers.
It added that, although treatment for mental health patients had moved forward, at this time “there would still have been large numbers of patients, especially on the Annexe wards, who were receiving no effective treatment for their mental disorders. Some of these patients would have been chronically psychotic and/or severely confused and the way some of them presented would have been consistent with her recollection that they were ‘absolutely out of it’.
“It is unlikely that patients would have been walking around naked in the main ward area but there were communal bathrooms on the male wards where patients could have been naked, and there were occasions when patients were incontinent of faeces and needed to be cleaned” the report states “Thus her description of there being excrement everywhere and men, some of whom were naked, walking in it would be consistent with what could have been happening on one of the wards at a particular moment in time.”
In relation to the girl being taken to a ward, the report states “During the day the dormitories could have been empty as patients undertook activities away from the ward, so if she had been taken into one of the dormitories it might well have appeared to be an empty ward and it is conceivable that there could have been no-one else around.”
The report concludes that “Although there are no witnesses who can verify or refute the account it is the considered view of the investigation team that the alleged incidents are likely to have occurred. This is supported by the correlation between the description of the site and the environment provided by Ms C with the documentary evidence available and the witness testimony of the two former staff members.
“Taken in the context of what we know about Prestwich Hospital in the early 1960s, there is nothing in Ms C’s statements that would cause us to question the veracity of her account of what happened” it adds “It appears most likely that the abuse will have taken place on one of the male wards on the Annexe. This conclusion is made because of the description from Ms C about the site and the buildings and what we know from the witness statements about the functioning of the site and the type of patients that were located in the Annexe at that time…”
Prestwich Hospital – What is it? What did it change? And how important is it? – click here
A Short History of Prestwich Hospital/Asylum – click here
Gruesome Conditions at Prestwich Hospital/Asylum – by ex nurses and staff – click here
Prestwich Hospital Births Reform: Dr Montagu Lomax – The Experiences of an Asylum Doctor – click here
Buttons and Tales From Prestwich Hospital – click here
UNISON, Prestwich Hospital and Bury New Road – click here
Prestwich Hospital and The Fall – click here
See also more on Jimmy Savile…
I was a nurse at Prestwich from 1975 onwards. I have absolutely no recollection of Saville going there at any point in time. Although this possible incident is said to have occurred 15 yrs earlier, I do find it hard to believe that Saville could have gained entry to any of the wards without authority or without witnesses, particularly in those early days when any open wards were very unusual. I may of course be wrong about my skepticism.
I’m with you on this. Many of the wards at the annexe were locked due to the vulnerability of the residents. Nobody could have entered or exited without staff knowing and Saville was well known at that time and unlikely to have been missed. There’s every possibility that the girl may have been abused ‘somewhere’ at the Annexe site, but certainly not on a ward where residents were being cared for.