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Jimmy Savile regularly walked in on patients in bath at Broadmoor prison hospital

JIMMY Savile thought he was "untouchable" and would regularly walk in on vulnerable Broadmoor patients while they were in the bath, it has been claimed.

The former TV star had "total" access to the high-security hospital in Berkshire - where he would walk in on females as they bathed, a former patient from the 1970s said.

His former personal assistant Janet Cope also claimed that Savile had free rein of Broadmoor, where she accused him of working to gain access to high-profile criminals.

"Jimmy was untouchable,” she said in an interview with ITV show Exposure

"(He) was very proud of the fact that he spoke to all these very high-profile poorly criminals."

Ms Cope said that although she had never seen him abuse anyone, he was a controlling person.

She said: "I knew how he operated so I was very wary of him and I felt there was an undercurrent, there was a bad side, which not many people saw."

At Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Ms Cope said Savile held a position of real authority, adding: "He controlled everything. He controlled me. Everybody was - I'm going to use the word frightened - of him."

Savile has been accused of hundreds of allegations of child sex abuse and rape.

A former female patient told the programme Savile would walk in while female patients were having baths.

She said: "He would come in when you'd be having a bath...he would just walk in."

Speaking anonymously, she added the star once tried to touch her breast - and when she reported him she spent months in solitary confinement.

The former Conservative MP Edwina Currie told the programme she was "fairly sure" that Savile suggested himself for the role at Broadmoor in the 1980s.

She said: "He would have been seen as an extremely useful person and to have a high profile doing this would have been so much the better.

Mrs Currie said that Savile unearthed a series of problems at Broadmoor and believes he planned to use information to blackmail staff there.

"We gave him every instrument that he needed in Broadmoor to prey on some extremely damaged individuals," she said.

"If Savile was alive now I would want to see him locked away for the rest of his life."

The lawyer Liz Duck told the programme she was representing nine women who claimed they were abused by Savile at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

"Some of them have had their lives destroyed (by Savile)," Ms Duck said.

"Several of the victims did report matters to members...no action was taken."

Meanwhile, the BBC may stop using any archive footage featuring Savile and axe all reruns of classic editions of Top of the Pops, because of fears that they might offend viewers.

Richard Klein, the controller of BBC4, said it would not air hundreds of hours of vintage programmes because they would go "against public feeling".

His channel has been broadcasting classic editions of Top of the Pops for the past two years and is currently at 1977, but Mr Klein told the Broadcasting Press Guild he may stop the series before it gets to 1978 because of the Savile sex scandal.

Similar discussions are likely to be happening throughout the BBC, he added.

"It is complex and difficult to judge," he said. "If it is not in the public interest, or it is against public feeling, we won't do it. I don't think one can have the answer now for a question far in the future [but] it feels very wrong now."

Some episodes featuring Savile have already been shelved after he was accused of sexually molesting scores of young women and teenagers, including some on BBC premises.

The broadcaster also pulled an episode presented by Dave Lee Travis, who has been arrested over allegations of molesting women.

Surrey Police never told the health care trust responsible for Stoke Mandeville Hospital that they had interviewed Jimmy Savile over an alleged sex crime there, it has emerged.

The force spoke to Savile in October 2009 about a historic allegation of sexual assault but according to an ITV Exposure investigation, the force said they never told Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust about the interview as there was no requirement to do so.

"It is complex and difficult to judge. "If it is not in the public interest, or it is against public feeling, we won't do it.

Richard Alleyne Telegraph.co.uk