Beds, Herts & Bucks

Stoke Mandeville doctor Michael Salmon jailed for rape and sex assaults

Michael Salmon arriving at Reading Crown Court in January Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael Salmon worked at Stoke Mandeville hospital at the same time as Jimmy Savile

An ex-doctor has been jailed for 18 years for indecently assaulting girls at a hospital where Jimmy Savile abused patients, as well as two rapes.

Michael Salmon, 80, was convicted of nine indecent assaults carried out against girls at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire and two counts of rape.

Reading Crown Court heard the attacks took place between 1973 and 1988.

Judge Joanna Cutts described him as a "cold and manipulative" man.

Jailing him for a minimum of nine years, she said his conduct was a gross breach of trust, all the more horrific because they were carried out against "vulnerable children".

'Bomb-proof'

This was a "rare case of cold-blooded sexual exploitation against children", the judge said.

The judge also told the court what he did was with "conceited arrogance" for his own "sexual gratification".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The consultant paediatrician worked at Stoke Mandeville hospital in the 1970s and 1980s

The convictions relate to six victims, but police said more women had contacted them with allegations against Salmon since the start of the trial.

Salmon, of Salisbury, in Wiltshire, was struck off the medical register in 1991.

The consultant paediatrician thought he was "bomb-proof" because no-one would believe a child over him, the court was told.

He abused children behind a screen while their parents waited believing he was carrying out a medical examination.

On some occasions he groped the girls' breasts under the pretence of listening to their heart, the court was told.

The court also heard that in one case, Salmon took a 16-year-old girl to his home and raped her.

He then dropped her off at a bus stop to make her own way home.

'Sexual fantasies'

Allegations about Salmon were first made to the Metropolitan Police in 2012 during investigations of historical abuse carried out by Savile and others.

Thames Valley Police, which took over the investigation into Salmon, said he claimed the allegations were "sexual fantasies".

Adrian Foster, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "His crimes were extremely traumatic for his victims who should have expected his support rather than this gross betrayal of their trust.

"Michael Salmon used his status to molest these vulnerable young girls and women who felt unable to complain as he was a doctor, and many of whom only bravely came forward after seeing other cases in the media."

After Salmon was found guilty, Det Sgt Malcolm Wheeler said the former doctor was a "prolific sexual offender" who "preyed on young girls".

Salmon worked at Stoke Mandeville Hospital at the same time as Savile was abusing vulnerable girls but their crimes were not said to be linked.

Savile, a volunteer porter, was said to have committed 22 offences at the hospital.

An independent inquiry was set up to look into Savile's activities and this led other women to come forward to accuse Salmon.

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