LEICESTER United Kingdom – Jimmy Savile, probably the most notorious child sex abuser in the UK, was given free access to a Catholic school in Scotland in the 1960s.
Savile, a DJ and TV presenter who was on airways for more than 50 years, died in 2011. An internal inquiry at the BBC revealed he abused at least 72 victims at the broadcaster in the period from 1959 to 2006. His victims included both boys and girls, and the youngest was 10 years old.
The information was revealed in testimony on Tuesday at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry hearing on the Fort Augustus Abbey school, run by the Benedictine order, which closed in 1993.
A written statement from the brother of a now-deceased student said the celebrity often visited the school.
“Savile would park his Rolls-Royce car outside the school. Doug said Savile was allowed to roam freely at the school, even the boys’ dormitories,” it read, adding “the boys didn’t like Savile.”
“Even although he was a big star, they felt uncomfortable,” the statement said.
The allegations against Saville didn’t become public until after his death.
Details of Savile’s 1960s’ visits to the Inverness-shire boarding school emerged at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI), which heard separate claims that a child was raped by monks who had ‘drugged’ him.
The testimony said the same child had been sexually assaulted by a staff member at the school while in the infirmary.
In 2013, multiple allegations of historic abuse at the school were reported in the Scottish media, with the BBC claiming the school had become a dumping ground for “problem” monks. The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was established in 2015 to look into historic abuse in the country. It is a separate inquiry to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) taking place in England and Wales.
On Tuesday, the Scottish inquiry also heard testimony from a man who said he was abused while a student at the school between 1974 and 1976.
Another man claimed to have been drugged and raped while visiting Fort Augustus and the nearby Pluscarden Abbey on a trip from his Catholic school in Glasgow.
“My memory is a little hazy because I believe I was drugged at the (Pluscarden) abbey and that some kind of alcohol was made at the abbey, and I may have been given some,” the witness said. “I remember being locked in a room and I think while I was in the room, I was given a drink of alcohol.” He then said “very similar abuse” happened at Fort Augustus.
The Benedictines left the monastery in 1998.
Follow Charles Collins on Twitter: @CharlesinRome
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