Jailed psychiatrist Christopher Allison may have attacked hundreds of women

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Telegraph
Jailed psychiatrist may have attacked hundreds of women
By Stewart Payne

A consultant psychiatrist was jailed for eight years yesterday for raping and sexually abusing vulnerable patients as police suggested that he may have attacked hundreds more women referred to him for treatment.

The General Medical Council was informed of concerns about Dr Christopher Allison 14 years ago but failed to act. Detectives said the crimes for which he was tried at Winchester Crown Court may have been the \”tip of the iceberg\”.

Det Con Ian Jones, who investigated the case, said Allison, 60, a married father of three, was \”like a spider who spun a web. He just sat and waited for flies to come into that web. He had a wonderful support system, the NHS, which fed him with his ready-made victims.\”

The trial was told that Allison, who had \”an overbearing desire for sex\”, bided his time to win the trust of his victims.

Judge Hooton, sentencing Allison, told him: \”You were in as important a position of trust with your patients as it is possible to be. They relied on you to help them and you betrayed them for your own selfish sexual purposes.\”

The judge said the matter was made worse because Allison had resigned from one clinic after complaints, only to move to another and carry on the abuse.

Allison, who practised as a psychotherapist, did not react as sentence was passed, but as he was being led away he nodded to the judge and mouthed: \”Thank you.\”

Allison, from Risby, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was convicted during the six-week trial of two rapes on one woman and a total of 10 indecent assaults on five others. He was cleared of 10 other offences.

The court was told that he targeted eight women referred to him by their GPs for problems including sexual inhibitions, anorexia, depression and low self-esteem. The offences occurred in the 1980s and 1990s. After his trial began a further four women came forward saying he had indecently assaulted them. One said he attacked her in 1972.

During counselling sessions Allison would lull his victims \”into a false sense of security\”. He would convince them his sexual attacks, most of which took place in his surgery, were part of their treatment.

Many victims felt unable to repel his advances because they were so in awe of him. One woman told police that Allison \”had power over her like a God\”.

After his trial it was disclosed that he was suspended by the NHS in 1988 over complaints that he abused two patients while he was a consultant for St Augustine\’s Hospital in
Canterbury, Kent.

The matter was not passed on to the police and the General Medical Council did not act. Allison later paid one of these women £10,000 in an out of court settlement.

While working for the hospital he was made chairman of South East Thames Regional Health Authority\’s disciplinary committee. The authority forced him to resign both posts over the complaints and he moved to a detached house near Basingstoke, Hants, where he set up a private surgery.

A spokesman for the General Medical Council said no one there could say why Allison was not brought before a disciplinary hearing in 1988.

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