A lawyer acting on behalf of victims of paedophile doctor Michael Salmon has welcomed the 18 year jail sentence handed to him this morning.
Salmon, 80, was convicted of two counts of rape and nine counts of indecent assault against six girls, aged 12 to 18 years at the time, between 1980 and 1988, while he was working at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Judge Joanna Cutts described his conduct as a gross breach of trust by a ‘cold and manipulative’ man.
Jessica Standley, an abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon which represents two of the victims Salmon was found guilty of attacking, said: “My clients will welcome the sentence delivered to Michael Salmon.
“The crimes he committed were among the most despicable imaginable, he abused his position of trust to assault the young and the very vulnerable.
“I think the severity of the sentence reflects the fact that these were assaults on little girls who had no reason to suspect they were in any danger.
“Both the patients and their parents believed they would be cared for and safe in hospital. Sadly with Salmon around nothing could have been further from the truth.
“The bravery of those he attacked in coming forward and securing justice must be recognised. His treatment of them in court suggesting they were lying and ‘gold diggers’ was frankly disgusting.
“And yet again this case raises serious questions about the culture at Stoke Mandeville hospital at the time Jimmy Savile and Salmon were there. But whereas Savile’s victims will never see him brought to justice today Salmon’s have.”
Salmon had previously pleaded guilty in November 1990 to indecent assaults on three girls and was jailed for three years, serving around 18 months.
More of his victims came forward after Operation Yewtree was launched following the fallout from the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
Salmon was a leading paediatrician at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, with much of the abuse taking place within the hospital itself.
The offences heard by a jury earlier this month relate to six female victims, aged between 12 and 18, and were committed between 1973 and 1988.
The court heard how many of them had felt ‘uncomfortable”’when being examined by Salmon, but believed that he was trustworthy because he was a doctor.
In one case, he took a 16-year-old girl to his home and raped her. The court heard how following the assault, he dropped her off at a bus stop to make her own way home.
Others reported having to kiss Salmon goodbye whenever they finished an appointment with him.
Det Sgt Malcolm Wheeler from the Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: “I am pleased with the result. Salmon was a prolific sexual offender who abused his position of power for his own sexual gratification.
“As a consultant pediatrician, he preyed on young girls who had been referred to him for a variety of health issues. They trusted him, they believed him, because he was a doctor and they thought he was trustworthy.
“On a number of occasions, he carried out unnecessary internal examinations on young girls. Although they felt uncomfortable at this, they didn’t feel able to tell anyone because they believed the examinations must have been necessary. Some of the offences were committed while the child’s parent was just outside the room.
“They have had to live with his actions their entire lives and it is only because of their bravery that Salmon now faces a long time behind bars.
“He never admitted any of these offences and when asked about them, he denied carrying out any internal examinations and claimed the victims were lying. He was categorically shown to be lying over the last few weeks at Reading Crown Court.
“If you have been the victim of sexual abuse or know someone who has, then please get in touch with us. This sentence shows that even if the offences were committed decades ago, we will listen to you and we will do everything to make sure offenders are brought to justice.”
Designated Investigator Emma Barlow said: “I would like to thank all the witnesses for having the courage to come forward, face their abuser and tell the court what happened to them many years ago when they were child patients of Salmon.
“I would like to also thank the strength of the women who were the witnesses from an earlier conviction of Salmon in 1990. They gave evidence to the court this time for matters they thought had been put to rest 25 years ago.”
Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern said: “Michael Salmon was convicted last Friday of offences which are particularly shocking due to the abuse of his position as a doctor taking advantage of the female patients in his care. 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. I hope that following the conviction and today’s sentence they now feel that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”