Jailed sex abuser denies his guilt in book

A PSYCHIATRIST jailed for sexually abusing patients from Yorkshire has published a book about his life in which he continues to deny his crimes.

Michael Haslam, 73, who specialised in psycho-sexual disorders, also talks about parties he attended dressed as a woman and admits to affairs with women 20 years his junior in the book, titled Close to the Wind.

Haslam, of Crayke, near Easingwold, was given a three-year sentence in 2003 for indecently assaulting three patients in the 1980s when he worked at York.

Last month Ministers ann-ounced findings from an in-quiry into his activities will be incorporated in new regulations to safeguard patients.

In the book, Haslam denies any wrongdoing and reveals he is continuing efforts to clear his name through the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which could refer his case back to the Court of Appeal.

He says in hindsight he had a "flirtatious" manner in dealing with women patients which meant he had been "occasionally misread", telling a hospital official in 1983 that he might "sail a bit close to the wind".

He says he was "gob-smacked" to be found guilty.

He writes: "I protested, and do protest, that I have done nothing criminal. I remain incensed by this travesty of justice."

Haslam describes the later inquiry into how the NHS handled complaints about him as a "farce and against natural justice".

He does not go into details about the inquiry, which un-covered details of complaints by 10 women against him. It concluded that he had used massage techniques to "sexually groom" female patients and reported that his behaviour had caused concern to colleagues for a number of years before he left his position in York in 1988, with some regarding him as a "real danger to women".

In the book, he goes on to reveal details of his activit-ies as a cross-dresser when he attended parties dressed as a woman under the pseudo-nym Victoria with his wife, a former primary school teacher. A picture of him as Victoria – wearing a wig, dress and high heels – is included.

He also talks of "getting slightly over-involved with the delights of somewhat younger women" during a "mid-life crisis" and to writing two "steamy novelettes" for the cross-gender community – people who believe they should be the opposite sex.

Public school and Cambridge-educated Haslam, a father-of-three, wrote the autobiography mainly while he was imprisoned at Acklington in Northumberland.

He says deeply-held Christian beliefs helped to sustain him. He was awarded a Leeds University MA in theology the day before his imprisonment in 2003. The next day he could see the university from his Armley prison cell.

The book also covers his hobbies, which include croquet, although he writes that he has not been welcomed back to his local club since his release from prison.

Last night Lila Taylor, one of the patients Haslam abused, said: "No way is what he has done acceptable no matter how much he tries to make it appear so. I don't think he's doing the medical profession any favours."

Kathy Haq, who heads a support group for victims of psychiatric sexual abuse arising from the activities of Haslam and colleague Will-iam Kerr, said he had "made a fool of himself because he is continuing to deny something he has been found guilty of in a court of law.

"He says he was over-familiar with patients. Sexually abusing a patient is not being over-familiar.

"It's quite sad that Haslam feels that he still has to continue to protest his innocence. He still seems to have difficulty with the truth of what he did."