Allegations of historic sexual abuse have now been made against a former Shropshire doctor by 11 people, it has been reported today.
BBC Midlands reports that police are investigating the growing number of allegations against Dr Gerard Rogerson, who worked in the town of Whitchurch before his death in 2000.
Hudgell Solicitors is currently providing legal advice to a number of people – both men and women – who have each named the former doctor when making allegations of historical sex abuse at his former surgery in the town.
Those making allegations and seeking legal support include a man, now in his 50s, who claims he was abused many times over a four year period, from the age of 9 to 13.
A second man alleges he suffered abuse on repeated occasions between 1969 and 1975, when aged 12 to 18, whilst a woman claims to have been abused by the doctor when she was aged between 12 and 18.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Moxley, of West Mercia Police, has told the BBC that the force has received the 11 reports of non-recent sexual offences in Whitchurch over the past six months.
A force spokesman added: “We wouldn’t comment on a live investigation which is under way, but it’s important that these victims who have come forward get the support they need as well as us getting their accounts from them.
“Detectives have been collating reports and going through the necessary measures and if anyone else comes forward in the future then we would speak to them as well.
“Once all the information has been collated the case will be reviewed and the victims updated.”
Hudgell Solicitors’ clients all named same GP in allegations of abuse
Victoria Neale, a specialist in handling cases involving abuse at Hudgell Solicitors, is representing each of the alleged victims in pursuing legal action through the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), one case of which has already been settled.
She said: “Since the first courageous gentleman contacted us and publicly made his allegations we have been contacted by more people who have independently given the same name, and made very similar allegations of being abused at the same Whitchurch surgery.
“Given police now say 11 people have contacted them to make similar allegations, we feel that it is in the public interest to fully investigate these allegations of sexual abuse and we encourage anybody with any more information to come forward.”
Victims will be ‘listened to and supported’
Mrs Neale now feels more people could come forward as a result of the media coverage and the police statement.
She said: “We feel there could be many more people who have since moved from the area and now live in other parts of the country who may wish to speak to both the police and ourselves as we continue to piece together this concerning picture of the past.
“Any form of abuse can cause long-term psychological issues, and it has only been with the support of trained professionals that the people we have assisted in cases such as this have felt able to face their pasts and make allegations to the relevant authorities.
“There are many areas of support which can be provided to help people.
“Our message is, if you have any further information, you can come forward and speak to specialists in confidence. It is imperative that this matter is fully investigated given the seriousness of allegations made so far and the possible impact on many more people.”
Former patient welcomes growing investigation into Dr Gerard Rogerson
The man who made the first public allegations when writing an anonymous article in his local newspaper in May, has welcomed more people coming forward.
He said: “I’m so glad people have come forward as that was in my mind when I decided to speak out.
“Ultimately, I want people to be able to type the name of the doctor into the Internet and find there is something being done and that there is help and support out there for them.
“Something like this has a massive impact on your life. I suffered from anxieties and was unable to carry on with my work as a joiner, and that ultimately has meant I’ll lose my home.
“It has a huge impact on you and you need to be able to talk about it, confront it, and bring some sort of closure.”