Women who worked with Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville say they only saw the good in man who was later outed as notorious paedophile

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Women who worked with Jimmy Savile at the time that he committed crimes at Stoke Mandeville Hospital defended him this week.

On Sunday night the BBC aired a Louis Theroux documentary, in which the film maker attempted to understand his own relationship with the notorious paedophile who during his life raised millions for the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Injuries Centre.

During the documentary he spoke with Savile’s former secretary Janet Cope, and Sylvia Nichol, a former medical secretary who worked closely with Savile on the Stoke Mandeville Appeal.

Sylvia, who was instrumental in raising £10million to build the Spinal Injuries Centre which opened in 1983, showed various items of memorabilia from her time working with Savile, and spoke of how her life had been shattered by the revelations about his crimes.

She said that she had only ever seen the good in Savile, and would have reported anything straight away if she had seen it.

She said: “We had a pretty ghastly time, I’m a victim, his family are victims as much as anyone else is a victim – I’m a victim of losing those memories and that is a pretty big thing out of your life.”

And Janet Cope, who worked for Savile for 28 years, said that she had never seen anything untoward in all the time she had worked for him, and that despite a series of high level reports, we still does not believe that the crimes took place.

She said: “Jim is now lying in an unmarked grave on a hill in Yorkshire and he is not being recognised as being the good person that he was, it makes my hair curl.”

Victims of Savile’s abuse at Stoke Mandeville were also interviewed for the programme, including testimony from a young mother who was abused as she recovered at the hospital.

A second victim told in harrowing detail how she was abused on regular basis by Savile when she took part in services at the hospital’s chapel.

The documentary is available to view now on the BBC iPlayer.