St Albans physio jailed for sex attacks

Chris Greenfield physiotherapist caged for abusing women patients

Chris Greenfield physiotherapist caged for abusing women patients - Credit: Archant

A ST Albans physiotherapist has been jailed for sex attacks on six women after his wife tried to stop the case coming to court by terrorising one of the victims.

The attacks carried out by Chris Greenfield, 38, took place at two different salons, Head and Short in St Albans and Body Factor in Chertsey, Surrey.

He was sent to prison for two years at Guildford Crown Court after being found guilty by a jury of sexually assaulting the women – five of them his patients and the sixth an acquaintance of his.

His wife Stacey Greenfield, 46, a former police special constable, was sentenced to six months suspended for two years after being convicted of witness intimidation.

The court heard that Greenfield had to be rushed to hospital after slashing his wrists and abdomen with a knife at a parkland beauty spot in Crawley, West Sussex, as police began to investigate complaints against him.

Then his wife attempted to derail the prosecution by telephoning one of the women and subjecting her to a barrage of obscenities

Greenfield denied 10 charges of sexual assault but the physiotherapist, of Sundon near Luton, was found guilty on all counts after a trial lasting nearly three weeks.

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He was placed on the Sex Offenders Register and the court was told that he would never be allowed to practise as a physiotherapist again.

Mrs Greenfield denied an offence of intimidating the first women to complain of sexual abuse at the hands of Greenfield. She too was found guilty.

Sentencing Mrs Greenfield, who was arrested after the call was traced to her home phone, Judge Neill Stewart told her: “Intimidating witnesses in court proceedings is a very serious offence.”

But after listening to an account of Mrs Greenfield’s personal circumstances, including the brutal murder of her son in 2001 and being kidnapped and attacked by her former husband, he decided to suspend the prison term.

She was ordered to pay £100 towards the £3,500 costs and subjected to a five year restraining order not to contact the victim or her husband.

Greenfield’s offences were committed against six women between February 28 and December 22, 2011. He was arrested after being rushed to hospital following the failed suicide attempt.

Jurors heard that shortly before the incident Greenfield had been asked to report to the police to answer allegations that he had sexually abused one of his clients while treating her.

Ruby Selva, prosecuting, said that the police probe led to five more women coming forward to testify that Greenfield had sexually abused them.

She went on: “All of the complainants are strikingly attractive. Each one was sexually assaulted and one of them orally raped by the defendant.”

Ms Selva told the court that the complaints had arisen from both workplaces: “Mr Greenfield was able to do so by creating an environment of trust and submission. Even while being sexually assaulted, these women still believed in him as a professional. Instead, they doubted themselves.

“The patients, all female, were of course vulnerable by virtue of being alone, under his complete power and completely exposed by the very nature of the treatments they were receiving. Many were naive as to what the treatment would involve and, therefore, susceptible to abuse.”

Ms Selva said that Greenfield would carry out the offences when there was no receptionist around. His victims were suffering a variety of injuries ranging from back and hamstring problems to whiplash injuries.

Giving evidence in his own defence, Greenfield said he wanted to die because he had betrayed his wife and broken the rules of his profession by having what he claimed was consenting sexual activity with one of the victims.

Greenfield also protested his innocence of any inappropriate conduct towards the other five women.

Caroline English, defending, told the sentencing hearing that Greenfield’s career as a physiotherapist had been destroyed.

She told the court: “He’s lost his status and his reputation.”

Sentencing Greenfield, Judge Stewart told him: “You took advantage of the relationship between a physiotherapist and his patients. The breach of trust is a serious aggravating factor.”

He said Greenfield’s offences were too serious for anything other than an immediate custodial sentence.