Jimmy Savile Sex Abuse: DJ 'Tried To Rape' Debbie Curtis At Leeds General Infirmary

Fresh claims have emerged that Jimmy Savile tried to rape a woman while on a hospital visit and told her "just think of me as good old uncle Jim".

Debbie Curtis, then an aspiring model, alleged that the disgraced presenter sexually assaulted her at his room in the nurses' quarters at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

She gave her account as Leeds General Infirmary denied claims by former porter Terry Pratt that the late Jim'll Fix It star was frequently handed a key to the nurses' accommodation building at Leeds General Infirmary during the late 1980s.

But it admitted that Savile did have an office on the site for 10 years because of his fundraising work.

Speaking to ITV News, Ms Curtis said that Savile invited her to his room for a coffee during a visit to see spinal patients when she was aged 22.

She claimed he groped her and blocked the door to the room despite her protests, and that she was forced to knee him in the groin to escape.

Ms Curtis said: "I think I was more shocked that he'd tried to force himself on me when I'd said no. And that's my biggest reason for doing this interview - I think that no should mean no.

"He was saying 'you're a very naughty girl'. He always wanted me to call him uncle Jim, things like that; that in itself, even at that age, was something I was not going to be doing. He always used to say 'just think of me as good old uncle Jim who'll do anything for you.'"

Savile also bragged to her that nurses would come into his room at night. He told her: "It's very good living in the nurses' quarters because they would often get in my bed at night and come and see me".

Former Director of Nursing and Patient Care at Stoke Mandeville, Christine McFarlane, also told ITV he was given too much freedom and staff feared he would stop fundraising if they angered him.

She told ITV: "Jimmy walked through the doors, everywhere, and because he was Jimmy Savile, nobody argued with him.

"When he first offered to raise money nobody thought he would raise the money to build the spinal unit, but he did it and did it very quickly.

"The nursing staff were extremely grateful and the gratitude spilt over into making him feel more powerful.

"Along with the power, people were afraid of Jimmy stopping raising money for the hospital. There was a fear of him taking something away. He argued that it was his and not theirs."

Earlier Mr Pratt told the BBC that Savile would arrive at Leeds General Infirmary with the girls in the early hours of the morning and then leave before dawn.

The former porter said: "He would go up and the lad on the desk would say 'Here's the key, Jim, make sure I get it back.'

"He'd take the key and would walk out and the two women would follow him towards the nurses' home,"

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We are concerned to hear the allegations which have been made by Mr Pratt and have been quoted widely in the media.

"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.

"The assurance we have been given is 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."

Another potential victim, a former patient at Broadmoor, told ITV that she was put in solitary confinement after complaining that Savile had groped her.

The woman, who remained anonymous, said: "When he put his arm around me, I thought he was just comforting me because he could see I was upset but I didn't know what the heck was going on.

"Then when he started getting a bit too affectionate, when he put his hand between my legs and tried to get intimate with me, I didn't like that."

Scotland Yard is leading a national investigation into the television and radio star's activities. He is now believed to have been one of the UK's most prolific abusers, with about 300 possible victims.

Detectives are following 400 lines of inquiry as part of the investigation while the BBC has launched an inquiry into the culture and practices at the corporation in the era of Savile's alleged sexual abuse.

It is also looking at the decision-making process that saw a Newsnight investigation into Savile's activities shelved.