Former Consultant found guilty of indecent assaults - Buckinghamshire

12/12/2016

A former consultant has today, Monday, 12 December 2016, been found guilty at Reading Crown Court of multiple indecent assaults, which were committed against a number of victims in Buckinghamshire in the 1970s and 1980s.

Michael Salmon, aged 81, formerly of Britford, Salisbury, was today convicted of 14 counts of indecent assault after a six week trial. The jury found him not guilty of rape and not guilty of a further 11 counts of indecent assault.

The offences took place while he worked as a consultant paediatrician in various hospitals in the Buckinghamshire area.

This case heard allegations from 18 females and one male, who were aged between 7 and 16 at the time of the offences and had attended the hospital where he worked. Not all were patients; two were people accompanying patients, but had still been examined. The ailments of the children included behavioural problems, migraines, stomach pains and epilepsy, but almost every examination included him touching them inappropriately and, in many instances, he performed unnecessary internal examinations.

One victim had a medical problem to do with her ears and yet, as part of her medical examination, he demanded she remove her clothes while he touched her inappropriately. He never examined her ears.

Victims routinely had to disrobe and he would talk to very young girls about sex while he examined them. Many complained of feeling uncomfortable and after one examination he gave a young patient 50p "for being a good girl."

Nina Maisuria, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Michael Salmon abused his position as a consultant paediatrician and took advantage of his status and circumstances to sexually abuse the children, during medical examinations, for his own sexual gratification. He made inappropriate comments, asked about the sexual activity of the girls and disguised what he was doing to ensure that those he molested would be less likely to complain.

"Salmon was struck off the medical register in 1991 after pleading guilty in December 1990 to three counts of indecent assault against young female patients and, in February 2015, he was jailed for 18 years after being found guilty of two counts of rape and nine counts of indecent assault after a 4-week trial. The victims in this case came forward as a result of the media coverage following the 2015 trial and I would like to pay tribute to them for their strength and tenacity in coming forward.

"Salmon denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct, specifically denied undertaking any unnecessary internal examinations and insisted that a nurse and a parent were always present during his examinations. However, today, at Reading Crown Court, he was found guilty, by a jury, of 14 counts of indecent assault, after a 6-week trial, despite his denials.

"This was an extremely difficult and complex case to prosecute involving numerous victims and witnesses, and evidence from a medical expert to exclude any possible innocent explanation for the actions of Doctor Salmon during the medical examinations.

"The convictions serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know that such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward and that time is no barrier to justice. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The emotional impact, on the victims, of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions give some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

The officer in the case, Specialist Investigator Emma Barlow said: "Following the convictions in 1990 and 2015, victims had the strength to tell me what had happened to them during visits to see Mr Salmon, who treated them when they were child patients of his.

"Mr Salmon abused the trust placed in him in the most vile way for his own sexual gratification.

"I would like to thank all the victims and witnesses for having the courage to come and tell the court what happened. Hopefully, they will obtain some closure from his conviction.

"Mr Salmon was a consultant paediatrician in the 1970s and 1980s. He was described as eminent and highly regarded. The court heard repeatedly how Mr Salmon was trusted by his child patients and by their parents. In some cases the victims were afraid to report their concerns, due to fear of not being believed due to Mr Salmon's position in society.

"Throughout the trial, Mr Salmon described the accounts of his victims as fantasy, nonsense and fairytales."

Salmon is due to be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Monday, 19 December 2016.