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RICHMOND: Johnnie Savile


Johnnie Savile

Johnnie Savile was the brother of the notorious predatory paedophile and necrophiliac, Jimmy.  By all accounts, Johnnie traded in on his brother’s fame. The concensus is that he was insignificant, but from what I have seen, he was far from it.  Johnnie was perverse, no stranger to controversy and ‘in’ with the ‘right’ crowd.


Dismissal from Springfield Psychiatric Hospital

Johnnie was employed at Springfield Psychiatric Hospital in Tooting as a Patient’s Social and Recreation Officer.  In April 1980 Johnnie was dismissed from his job following an investigation that he had assaulted a female patient.  He subsequently took them to an Industrial Tribunal in December 1980, and lost.


South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust Inquiry

Despite claims in 1980 that Johnnie had assaulted one female patient and following the Jimmy Savile review, an inquiry was undertaken in 2015 by South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust in to Johnnie, which confirmed that between 1978 and 1980, he had assaulted seven women, including:

  • five patients,
  • one visitor,
  • one staff member.

Article from The Independent 26th February 2015:

Jimmy Savile’s older brother ‘most likely’ abused several women in 1970s and 1980s

Savile’s brother Johnny is thought to have sexually assaulted seven women, including five patients, according to a new report.

Jimmy Savile’s older brother, Johnny, “most likely” sexually assaulted seven women – five of whom were patients – at Springfield hospital in south-west London between 1978 and 1980, according to a separate report published on Thursday.

Johnny Savile, who died in 1998, worked as a recreation officer at Springfield in the late 1970s up to his dismissal in 1980 for gross misconduct, a decision later upheld at an employment tribunal. All the alleged victims, including one visitor and one staff member, were adult females.

Former Springfield staff told investigators Johnny Savile had “unprofessionally friendly relationships” with some colleague and that he tried to use his celebrity by association to gain status in the hospital. Johnny Savile also ran or contributed to the hospital radio station and to have used access to this to try to gain sexual favours from female patients, officials were told.

Investigators found the claims of rape and other sexual assault either did occur or where “likely” or “most likely” to have occurred.

Their report concluded: “While there is scant corroborative evidence for many of the individual allegations, they add up to a credible picture that Johnny Savile misused local celebrity status to exploit vulnerable patients as well as others.”

Investigators found nothing to link Jimmy Savile with Springfield or any other sites now under the control of South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and any past “impropriety” was down to Johnny alone.

The report said: “Johnny Savile was in a post that gave him access to a very vulnerable patient group and the investigators believe he was able to use his ‘status’ to persuade patients and staff to do what he wanted. Further allegations may therefore come forward, particularly after the publication of this report.”

The Trust said it was committed to helping anyone, staff or member of the public, who had been subject to “inappropriate and unwanted attention from Johnny Savile”.

The Trust said it would review its current policies for volunteers, visitors and VIPs, including celebrities among the 11 recommendations it made.

In the Stoke Mandeville inquiry, also published on Thursday, one of Jimmy Savile’s victims recalled: “Savile’s brother (uncertain which one) used to wander around the Hospital also dressed in a tracksuit. The common view was that he cut a rather pathetic figure.”

In this BBC Report a victim of Johnnie Savile states how she was raped whilst at Springfield Hospital and that her attempts to report the matter were ignored.

Here is the full report of the inquiry: Report in to Johnnie Savile

I’d like to draw your attention to page 39, particularly:

12. Johnny Savile’s association with Richmond Royal and any other facilities now under the control of the Trust 194 W18 provided a credible and detailed account of Johnny Savile’s association with Richmond Royal. Johnny Savile was known to have been dismissed from his previous post and was not there on any official basis: he was not employed; he was not a volunteer, and he was not involved in any fundraising or organising activities. W18 does not recall any untoward incidents involving Johnny Savile. His frequent visits to the main building were not challenged as his wife was working there and he lived in staff accommodation. A description of Johnny Savile being disliked because of his past behavior was given by W18.

195 No evidence has been found of Johnny Savile being employed, volunteering, or being seen at any other site now under the control of the Trust.

So despite being dismissed for assaulting patients at Springfield, he was allowed constant access to Richmond Royal Hospital as well as live across the road in hospital accommodation in Shaftsbury Avenue and is the likely culprit that visited Stoke Mandeville.

Richmond Herald

That is bad enough but I have discovered an article from The Richmond Herald dated 4th June 1981 which seems to contradict the claims made within the inquiry that Johnnie was not organising or volunteering within the hospital and blows wide open the whole matter of his and his brother’s activities around children. (The copy is really poor so I have transcribed it too):


Help My Appeal

A determined man is 52 year old Richmond man, Johnnie Savile.

Johnnie, brother of television and radio celebrity Jimmy Savile, has taken up the challenge of raising £16,000 to pay for a new x-ray machine at Barnes Hospital.  The existing machine is old and constantly breaks down.

The firm who make the machine have said Johnnie, who lives in Shaftsbury Road, that if he can raise the money by September they would be willing to knock £2,000 off the usual price of £18,000 and install it free.

So with the time passing quickly, Johnnie is anxiously trying to organise a sponsored walk in Richmond Park which he thinks would go a long way towards achieving his goal.

He has written to about 17 schools in the borough but he says: “I have not received any answers yet and I wrote eight weeks ago”.

He is prepared to do anything – except that is jump from an airplane – to raise the money.

He said: “The situation at Barnes Hospital at the moment is that all patients needing x-rays have to be taken to the Royal Hospital, Richmond, and with the shortage of ambulances they sometimes have to wait for hours”.

Johnnie, who is married to Gerda and his two daughters, Maureen (20) and Diana (21), is a well known figure in Richmond as he has been raising funds for different charities in the borough for over 40 years.

“I am a member of the League of Friends of the Royal Hospital and I stage discos for patients and staff’s birthdays or if a member of staff is leaving” he said.

He is a regular visitor to Lancaster House, Richmond, the home for retarded children and often brings with him games and toys.  He sometimes take the children on outings.

Johnnie visits the home on behalf of the Variety Club of Great Britain, of which he has been a barker for over 20 years.

“I said I would be willing to stage a free disco at whatever school raised the most money in the sponsored walk but even that doesn’t seem to have inspired much interest”, he said.

Johnnie has however received help from one source.  Children at a Home in Battersea have said they will organise a sponsored walk on behalf of the hospital.

“I am very grateful to those children for what they are doing.  The walk should raise about £300”, he said.  If his planned sponsored walk around Richmond Park falls through, he must find new means of raising the money.

So not only was Johnnie a member of the League of Friends of Richmond Royal, he also put on the discos, had constant access to a local children’s home and was able to take the children on outings as well as connections to Barnes Hospital, the Variety Club and a care home in Battersea.  He was also doing children’s discos and local fetes.

Questions need to be answered!

Johnnie died in 1998.  Nobody seems very concerned about the level of access he had to children with disabilities and in care homes.  I think the whole situation needs to be looked at again – for the sake of the vulnerable children who I feel had been badly let down by the system.

I believe – and I reiterate that it is my opinion – that Johnnie worked in conjunction with his brother abusing the vulnerable.  I believe he used his position within the Variety Club to access children, which no doubt bought him favours from Jimmy’s circle of friends.  I also believe that it’s important another inquiry is carried out in to how he was allowed unfettered access to both Lancaster House and a Battersea children’s home and that Richmond upon Thames Social Services Department yet again has some very serious questions to answer.

Top of the Pops


Johnnie on Top of the Pops with his brother, Jimmy – celebrating the 800th edition on 26th July 1979.

Parliamentary candidate for Battersea North


Johnnie and Honor Blackman – 23rd February 1974.  Johnnie was canvassing the constituency of Battersea North as prospective parliamentary candidate of the Liberal Party.


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