Jimmy Savile: Leeds hospital claim disputed

image captionJimmy Savile was well known at the Leeds hospital as a volunteer and fundraiser

Claims that Jimmy Savile was regularly handed a key to a Leeds hospital building when he arrived with teenage girls have been disputed by officials.

Ex-hospital porter Terry Pratt said Savile would arrive at Leeds General Infirmary in the early hours and take the girls to the nurses' accommodation.

But Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said it believed Mr Pratt was "mistaken in his comments".

Police are investigating allegations of sexual abuse by Savile over many years.

In a statement, the trust said: "We have investigated his claims today with other staff who were around at Leeds General Infirmary at the time and we believe he is mistaken in his comments.

"Mr Pratt appears to have been talking about a period in the 1980s before he started work at the hospital in 1990 and not from first-hand knowledge."

'Strictly controlled'

Mr Pratt had told the BBC he became suspicious when Savile began arriving several times a month, with different girls in the late 1980s, asking for the key to the accommodation block.

The spokesman said the trust had been given an assurance that the porters did not have a key to unlock the nurses' home.

"The building had a warden on duty 24 hours a day and we understand access was very strictly controlled to protect the staff living there."

He added: "The accusations against Savile are serious and naturally are of great concern. The police are continuing their national investigation and anyone with evidence should speak to them."

Savile, a TV presenter and DJ who rose to fame in the 60s, was well known at Leeds General Infirmary over many years as a volunteer and fundraiser.

But police are investigating claims he abused up to 300 young people, including at three hospitals which he raised funds for: Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary.