Published: 00:00, 14 July 2016
| Updated: 12:45, 14 July 2016
A perverted chiropractor who molested female patients and filmed them in various states of undress on a hidden camera has been jailed for four and half years.
Christopher Foley was told by Judge Philip St John-Stevens: “The nature of your criminal conduct is plainly abhorrent. There has been a substantial effect on your victims, which was life-changing to a degree.”
Foley, 67, originally denied any wrongdoing but changed his pleas to guilty on the third day of his trial after three victims had given evidence in May.
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Maidstone Crown Court heard he abused the trust of patients “many times” at his Pembury Chiropractic Clinic in the High Street.
“He did it by sexually assaulting them while being treated or covertly videoing as they got changed,” said prosecutor Charles Royle.
“We say it was for his own sexual gratification. None of the women consented. The touching was not treatment and the video they didn’t know about.”
Mr Royle said the offences involved 14 women over a three-year period. They came to light when one patient spotted the camera’s red flashing light and realised she had been caught undressing on camera.
VIDEO: Foley setting up the covert camera
“His actions play no part in competent treatment,” said Mr Royle.
One woman when interviewed by police in 2013 said she was told to undress to her underwear and put on a medical gown. A relative went with her to chaperone.
When she went back next time the relative waited outside the room. Foley asked to see a scar between her breasts.
While she was getting dressed she noticed a camera on a shelf.
Mr Royle said 17 videos were found on the camera. Clips were shown to the jury.
After the matter was reported in the press, more victims came forward.
One told how Foley put his hand on her pubic area when treating her. Another said she could feel he was aroused.
His computer contained voyeuristic videos of woman undressing and being treated.
Foley, of Highfield Close, Pembury, admitted five offences of sexual assault and 11 of voyeurism. The prosecution dropped a further count of sexual assault and a not guilty verdict was entered.
VIDEO: DS Richard Pringle speaks after the sentencing
He also admitted possessing 51 extreme pornographic film clips showing adults engaged in sex acts with animals.
Orla Daly, defending, said when the camera was discovered Foley lost his career, his home and family. His wife had since divorced him and he had been forced to leave the area.
“The only thing he had left was his character, which, of course, now has gone too,” she said. “He is in the process of being struck off and won’t work again.”
A sexual harm prevention order was made and Foley’s name will appear on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Several statements in which victims spoke of feeling violated by Foley were read out in court.
One young woman, a professional dancer, said she was “torn to shreds” when she found out she had been secretly filmed.
“I had to leave my university course and degree after being there for six months because I couldn’t cope with what happened,” she said.
She added that her relationship broke up and she no longer trusted practitioners. She said she had been left with deep psychological scars.
Judge St John-Stevens said it was clear Foley demonstrated remorse when confronted with what he had done.
“You had been in denial in your own mind,” he told him. “It meant other victims did not have to give evidence and the matter was not in the hands of the jury.
“It is clear in relation to these individuals you ultimately sexually assaulted you provided treatment and relief from ongoing pain and discomfort.
“The other side of the coin is that they engendered trust in you which allowed you to perpetrate those sexual assaults.
“It is clear you were a good chiropractor. You have lost that career, lost your home, family and wife.
“You used your position of trust and you abused it, sexually assaulting a number of patients over a significant period and also covertly recording them for your own sexual gratification.
“The court has witnessed the impact of your crimes. There is deep and profound anguish in the minds of your victims. Words may not do justice to them.”