‘Preda­tor Sav­ile roamed freely at board­ing school’

In­quiry told TV star made boys un­com­fort­able

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CALUM ROSS

A CHILD abuse in­quiry has heard that shamed show­biz fig­ure Jimmy Sav­ile was al­lowed to “roam freely” at a Catholic school in the north.

The claims were made as wit­nesses gave evidence of sex­ual and phys­i­cal at­tacks by mem­bers of re­li­gious or­ders and staff at the Bene­dic­tine Fort Au­gus­tus Abbey, on Loch Ness­side.

One man said he was drugged and raped by monks at the school – and that he was also sex­u­ally as­saulted at Plus­car­den Abbey near El­gin.

The wit­ness told the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry he was warned he would be thrown into the Mo­ray Firth or Loch Ness if he told any­one.

Sav­ile is thought to have been a fre­quent vis­i­tor to the school dur­ing trips north be­fore the sex­ual preda­tor bought a cot­tage in Glen­coe.

One man said his late brother told him: “Sav­ile was al­lowed to roam freely at the school, even the boys’ dor­mi­to­ries. Although he was a big star, they felt un­com­fort­able.”

Jimmy Sav­ile was al­lowed to “roam freely” in the boys’ dor­mi­to­ries of a Catholic school in the High­lands, an in­quiry heard yes­ter­day.

A for­mer pupil at the Bene­dic­tine Fort Au­gus­tus Abbey told fam­ily mem­bers the se­rial preda­tor would turn up at the school in his Rolls-Royce at a time when young boys say they were be­ing abused by staff.

Another wit­ness said yes­ter­day he had been drugged and raped by monks at the same school, and was also sex­u­ally as­saulted at Plus­car­den Abbey, near El­gin.

The young­ster was warned he would be thrown into the Mo­ray Firth or Loch Ness if he re­ported the abuse, he said.

The al­le­ga­tions were made as wit­nesses at the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry gave evidence of sex­ual and phys­i­cal at­tacks at Fort Au­gus­tus Abbey.

In a writ­ten state­ment, a man given the pseu­do­nym “Rory” said his brother “Doug”, who was born in 1951 but has since died, told him Sav­ile was given ac­cess to the school in the 1960s, when he was al­ready a fa­mous DJ with Ra­dio Lux­em­bourg.

“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.

“Doug said the boys didn’t like Sav­ile. Even although he was a big star, they felt un­com­fort­able.”

Sav­ile was pho­tographed at the school in 1970 and later bought a cot­tage at Glen­coe.

In the state­ment, it was claimed Doug had also told his brother he was sex­u­ally as­saulted by a staff mem­ber at the school.

Another anony­mous wit­ness, known as “James” and born in 1956, gave a state­ment which was read yes­ter­day to the in­quiry, be­ing chaired by Lady Smith.

He al­leged he had been at­tacked at Fort Au­gus­tus and at Plus­car­den Abbey in Mo­ray while he was on a trip north from a Catholic school in Glas­gow.

He said: “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.

“I re­mem­ber be­ing locked in a room and I think while I was in the room I was given a drink of al­co­hol.”

He said another two monks en­tered the room and he was sex­u­ally as­saulted.

A 56-year-old wit­ness, who at­tended Fort Au­gus­tus Abbey in the 1970s, told the in­quiry yes­ter­day he had been sex­u­ally abused three times by a monk.

He said the abuse had a ma­jor im­pact on his life and he con­tin­ues to re­ceive psy­cho­log­i­cal treat­ment to this day.

The school was closed in 1993 and the last monks left in 1998.

The in­quiry con­tin­ues to­day.

Pho­to­graph by Sandy McCook

PROBE: The shamed TV pre­sen­ter would turn up to Fort Au­gus­tus Abbey at a time of al­leged abuse.

Plus­car­den Abbey, Mo­ray

Jimmy Sav­ile

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