Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Fernandez tells of Savile encounter

Police are investigating allegations against Jimmy Savile

TV actress Julie Fernandez has told how she was a victim of Jimmy Savile's groping when she appeared on one of his TV shows at 14.

The disabled star, who appeared in The Office, said his hands lingered "in places they shouldn't" when she took part in Jim'll Fix It along with other children from her boarding school.

Julie, 38, told Radio 5 Live breakfast show presenter Nicky Campbell she and her friends often spoke of the incident afterwards but she said she was unsure why she didn't tell any adults about it.

She had been positioned next to Savile in the studio after writing to the show on behalf of her friends at Treloar School in Hampshire.

"I was in my wheelchair, but I just remember his hands being everywhere and just lingering those two, three, four seconds slightly too long in places they shouldn't."

Meanwhile, an old friend of Savile who worked with him to raise funds for Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the 1970s has said she was saddened by allegations of sexual abuse against him but never saw him do anything "inappropriate".

Sylvia Nicol told Daybreak: "I am very sad, I don't like it, it takes away 40 years of very happy, very good memories. Knowledge of all the good Jimmy did, because from the time he came to Stoke Mandeville I only saw him do good."

But Caroline Moore has claimed she was assaulted by Savile at the age of 13 while being treated at the Buckinghamshire hospital in 1971. Nurses at the hospital are also understood to have dreaded Savile's visits because of his behaviour and would tell children to pretend to be asleep when he came round.

Police believe Savile could have abused as many as 25 victims over a period of 40 years, and have so far formally recorded a number of criminal allegations against him including rape and indecent assault.

The raft of allegations against Savile has been branded a "cesspit" by BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten who pledged to hold an independent inquiry as swiftly as possible after the police investigation.

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