Ex-Royal Marine jailed for historic sex attacks on girl

Stephen Salmon
Stephen Salmon
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AN EX-ROYAL Marine deployed on Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s honeymoon has been jailed for a string of historic sex attacks on a young girl.

Former family friend Stephen Salmon, 66, subjected victim Natalie to numerous attacks in the 1970s when she was aged between about seven and 12.

Salmon, who was in the Royal Marines Band and was on the Royal Yacht Britannia for the newlywed Prince and Princess of Wales’ honeymoon, is behind bars.

Natalie, 43, who has bravely waived her right to anonymity now the married dad has been brought to justice, said of Salmon: ‘I just want him away from children.’

Natalie was abused by the former petty officer after he and her family became friends while he was serving in Portsmouth.

Her late father was in the Royal Navy at the time and the two families lived next door to each other in Eastney, Portsmouth.

But it was not until decades later that Natalie found the courage to tell her family what had happened to her and call the police.

By then Salmon had moved to Spain with his wife, however he was arrested on his return to the UK in 2012.

A jury convicted Salmon, who is said to have an ‘exemplary’ service record, of four counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

He was sentenced to four years in prison and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Salmon, whose most recent address was given by the court as being on the Isle of Wight, is banned from working with children.

Victim Natalie had to give evidence during the trial. She said of her ordeal: ‘Facing him [Salmon] in court brought it all back. It was horrible.

‘I fell apart at the beginning.

‘I looked at him – he had a really smug look on his face.’

Speaking of his conviction and sentence, she said: ‘I’m over the moon. I cried, all sorts of emotions.

‘I was really, really happy that someone believed me after all this time.

‘It’s not enough for what he’s put me through.

‘I can’t undo it. I always think about it. I’m insecure, I don’t trust men.

‘I’ve been in physically abusive relationships, mentally abusive relationships. I’ve never had children, probably because I think it’s going to happen to them.’

Natalie is encouraging other victims not to bottle up their experiences and suffer in silence.

Her abuser Stephen Salmon, 66, is now serving a four-year jail term for four counts of indecently assaulting her and two counts of indecency with a child dating back to the 1970s.

The former Royal Marine, who was in the Royal Marines Band, was arrested and charged after Natalie contacted the police in 2012 and followed up a previous report she had made about him but hadn’t felt able to pursue at the time.

Married father Salmon lived in the Eastney area of Portsmouth when he abused Natalie, and was at that time a friend of her family.

By the time of his arrest he is understood to have moved to Spain with his wife.

However he was arrested on his return to the UK and later charged with abusing Natalie.

He was found guilty of all six counts he was charged with – which he had denied – following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court during which Natalie, now aged 43, had to give evidence.

Natalie was between about seven and 12 when the abuse took place.

Speaking after Salmon’s sentencing, Natalie said: ‘Have the courage to come forward.

‘Don’t block it out. Don’t do what I did and block it for all those years. You need to tell someone, whether it’s parents or teachers.

‘You can’t suffer like this, it’s not right.’

Natalie’s family has also backed her calls for victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

Hampshire police can be contacted on 101 or 999 in an emergency, or visit hampshire.police.uk.

Call the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111 where information can be given anonymously.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Cosham, Portsmouth, known as Treetops, can be contacted on (023) 9221 0352 seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.

The centre is a partnership between police, local NHS health trust and Rape Crisis.

Its services are available to anyone, male or female, over the age of 13 who has been a victim of rape or serious sexual assault in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Its staff help victims deal with the trauma of rape or serious sexual assault, including a choice about whether to report incidents to the police.

The judge branded paedophile Stephen Salmon’s catalogue of historic sexual abuse of a young girl ‘disgusting’.

Sentencing the 66-year-old ex-marine to four years in jail Judge Richard Price said his actions involved ‘the most dreadful breach of trust.’

A jury convicted Salmon of four counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.

Judge Price said: ‘She [Natalie] has been badly affected in adulthood and one has little doubt that what you did will remain with her for the rest of her life.’