Doctor who abused girls at Savile hospital jailed

Dr Michael Salmon outside Reading Crown Court. Picture: PA

Dr Michael Salmon outside Reading Crown Court. Picture: PA

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A FORMER children’s doctor has been jailed for 18 years for indecently assaulting girls during the 1980s at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where Jimmy Savile abused patients.

Michael Salmon, 80, believed that, as a trusted doctor, he was “bomb proof” because no-one would believe a child over him, but a jury found him guilty of nine counts of indecent assault and two of rape against six girls aged 12 to 18.

Judge Joanna Cutts, sitting at Reading Crown Court, sentenced Salmon to 18 years and ten years for the two rapes and to two years for each of the indecent assaults. All sentences are to run concurrently. The judge said the offences took place between 1980 and 1987.

She told Salmon, of Salisbury, Wiltshire, that he had acted with “conceited arrogance and complete disregard” for his young female patients and “purely for your own sexual gratification”.

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He carried out many attacks behind a screen in his consulting room as his victim’s parents waited, believing he was completing a medical examination.

Salmon worked as a consultant paediatrician at hospitals in Buckinghamshire, including the world-renowned Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury.

The hospital was thrown into the spotlight in 2011 following disclosures that prolific paedophile Savile repeatedly abused patients at the hospital where he had his own office.

The court 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 after the assault.

Other patients reported having to kiss him whenever they finished an appointment with him.

The judge said: “You worked on the basis that if a child did complain, no-one would believe her word against that of an eminent paediatrician.”

The judge, who noted that Salmon had picked “the more vulnerable” of his patients to abuse, praised the women who had given evidence in court.

She said she could find no better words to describe Salmon’s behaviour than those of one of his victims, who said: “[He is] someone who knowingly and in the most heinous way breached everything the medical profession stands for and his commitment to uphold his oath to that profession.”

After sentencing, Jessica ­Standley, of law firm Slater & Gordon, representing two of the victims Salmon was found guilty of attacking in their civil case, said: “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.”

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