ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AT ALL FIVE ELITE MUSIC SCHOOLS
Leading the Channel 4 News bulletin, this report looked at allegations of historic sexual abuse and inappropriate relationships that have been raised at all of the UK’s specialist music schools. These include claims that the founding music director of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey sexually abused pupils as young as ten.
The violinist, Nigel Kennedy, who was a pupil at the school then, spoke openly about the allegations for the first time.
The films also looked at why music school pupils are particularly vulnerable and reports on claims that a music teacher was sexually involved with at least three of his pupils.
LORD RENNARD: LIB DEMS FAILED TO DEAL PROPERLY WITH HARRASSMENT CLAIMS
Working with Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, we broke the story that made headline news for the next seven days. Liberal Democrat activists and party workers alleged that the party’s most powerful official, former Chief Executive Lord Rennard, abused his position for years by inappropriately touching and propositioning them. Furthermore, they say very senior party figures knew, yet failed to take decisive action. Lord Rennard denied the allegations. This story made front page news for a week and led every major TV and radio news bulletin. Nick Clegg was forced to make a personal statement and the Police launched a criminal investigation.
STUDENT FEES SCAM
Sponsor A Scholar was a British website offering students up to £15,000 a year to fund their studies. Reading between the lines however, students were expected to meet businessmen in hotels for an ‘intimate encounter’ in return for their cash. But the truth turned out to be even more shocking. We found little evidence the scholarships existed, that students ever received any money, or that there were any businessmen at all. Sponsor A Scholar turned out to be a grim sex scam, a cover for a man to tour the country insisting on sex with vulnerable young women. A student who applied told us she was pressurised to dress up as a school girl and pose for photos. Then the interviewer insisted on having sex with her as a ‘practical assessment’ and ‘quality control’. We reported this to the Police. But two months later, as it became apparent the man was carrying on unimpeded, we sent an undercover reporter to meet him. It was a disturbing encounter.
7 months later Mark Lancaster, the man behind Sponsor a Scholar, entered a guilty plea in court.
JIMMY SAVILE AT BROADMOOR
“The lunatics have taken over the asylum.”
“A lot of the staff said he should be behind bars. We used to laugh about it in those days.”
How did Jimmy Savile come to run Broadmoor, the high security hospital which houses Britain’s most dangerous patients? Staff at the time regarded Savile as a psychopath and a paedophile. They noted how paedophile patients gravitated towards him. Yet their concerns about him and the power he wielded were ignored – even when staff reported Savile taking a young girl from the village up to his room at the hospital. Savile even over-ruled them and insisted disturbed, highly medicated patients were given alcohol at Christmas.