Shropshire

Historical sex abuse claims against Shropshire doctor

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Media captionAlleged victims of Whitchurch GP Gerard Rogerson come forward

Six more alleged victims of historical sex abuse by a GP have contacted police.

Five people had previously come forward to make allegations against Dr Gerard Rogerson, who worked in Whitchurch, Shropshire, before his death in 2000.

The men and women claim they were abused in the 1970s when they were all children, lawyers said.

Some have kept the abuse a secret from their families for 40 years, Victoria Neale from Hudgell Solicitors said.

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One victim, "John", not his real name, said the alleged abuse caused "spikes" in anger later on in his life and led to him drinking heavily and being unable to work at times.

The father-of-three from Whitchurch said he checked his medical records and discovered he had visited the surgery some 30 times as a child and said it was because Dr Rogerson "had a good system of getting you back in".

"It's strange to walk round this quiet market town where I live and always have, knowing the town has got a dark secret that nobody would have expected to be there."

Image copyright Hudgells Solicitors
Image caption This is where Dr Rogerson used to practice, which is no longer a surgery, and is where his alleged victims claim the abuse took place in the 1970s

Ms Neale, who is representing four of the alleged victims, said: "Given the police now say 11 people have contacted them making similar allegations of historic sex abuse in Whitchurch, we feel it is in the public interest to fully investigate these allegations and we encourage anybody with any more information to come forward."

Individuals have come forward independently and given the same version of events and named Dr Gerard Rogerson, who was awarded an MBE for services to medicine in 1981, she said.

Cases are being pursued through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, a government-run damages scheme for victims of crime.

Image caption 'John' told BBC News he began drinking and could not work at times because of what he says he experienced at the surgery

Det Ch Insp Paul Moxley, of West Mercia Police, said the force had 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."

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