Abuse victims at a Jewish children’s home in Manchester said it was “highly plausible” that the late Jimmy Savile targeted youngsters there.
Jane Hersey, a former resident who was abused by a Swedish nurse while at the Sarah Laski Home in Crumpsall, told the Jewish Telegraph: “There is every chance children at the care home would have been abused by him.”
She added: “It is highly plausible and probably did happen.”
Education Secretary Michael Gove told the Commons that information about Savile dating from the 1960s to the 1980s had been uncovered by police, and that the Manchester care home is one of 21 homes across the country being investigated for its links with the disgraced former DJ.
It opened in 1953 under the auspices of the-then Jewish Board of Guardians and closed in 1974. The Board of Guardians later become the Manchester Jewish Social Services, which in turn became The Fed.
Bury South MP Ivan Lewis, a former chief executive of Manchester Jewish Social Services, said: “People will be rightly concerned at this revelation. It’s important for anyone with any information to come forward.”
Similarly, chief operating officer of The Fed, Mark Cunningham, said: “We have not as yet been approached by any statutory agencies with regard to this investigation… but we will certainly be anxious to help.”
Savile was a known supporter of Jewish causes, but this marks the first time that abuse allegations have been linked to the community. Since the BBC disc jockey died in 2011, hundreds of his victims have come forward.
“I have terrible memories from my time there,” said Hersey, who has written a book about her experiences. “It was a very cold place to live and I hated it. Society shunned vulnerable children and that’s who Savile targeted.”