Hypnothe-rapist Filmed Himself Sexually Abusing Teenage Patient In Trance-Like State, Kept 40,000 Child Porn Images On Computer
- Published on Friday, 11 January 2013 17:19
A JUDGE condemned the lack of regulation in the hypnotherapy industry as he jailed a practitioner who filmed himself sexually assaulting a patient.
Philip Sherwin, 47, molested a girl of 19 while she was in a ‘light trance’ after she sought treatment for anxiety issues.
A court heard Sherwin had worked in a print factory before setting himself up as a £95-an-hour hypnotherapist. His training amounted to just a week-long training course and two-day seminar.
Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Simon Hammond said it was a matter of ‘grave public concern’ that there was no regulatory body to oversee hypnotherapy practitioners.
Referring to a report on the case by Professor Graham Wagstaff, an expert in hypnotherapy from Liverpool University, the judge said he was also concerned at the lack of formal training required.
In the UK there is no legislation to control hypnotherapy and nothing to stop so-called ‘hypno-cowboys’ with little or no experience.
Practitioners can affiliate to one of a plethora of organizations such as the British Hypnotherapy Association, Hypnotherapy Association UK or the Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, which require members to abide by a code of practice. But while rogue practitioners can be struck off from these groups, there is nothing to stop them from continuing to treat patients.
Leicester Crown Court heard Sherwin treated the ‘vulnerable’ woman twice, gaining her trust enough so that she took up his offer of a further two free sessions where she would become his ‘guinea-pig’ for research aimed at taking things to ‘a new level’.
On the second of these sessions, Sherwin told her he would perform Chi massage on her while she was under a light hypnosis.
Sherwin persuaded the woman to take her trousers off so he could ‘remove the energy from her legs’, then proceeded to massage her thighs and touch her intimately.
Prosecutor James House said: ‘He told her she may feel sexually aroused but shouldn’t worry.’
Sherwin was a registered member of the Academy of Hypnotic Arts, run by Jonathan Chase and his partner Jane Bregazzi from Devon. In an online advert he claimed to have a diploma in ‘remedial hypnotism’. At the time of the incident he was working at the Centre of Balance, a multidisciplinary clinic in Leicester.
The woman had no knowledge of being molested until officers discovered the footage, along with 250,000 pornographic images including 40,000 child porn pictures, on his computer, in July 2010. The court heard she suffered depression afterwards and was unable to take up her place at university.
Sherwin, from Leicester, admitted sexual assault and possessing indecent images of children.
The judge imposed a restraining order on Sherwin forbidding any contact with the victim and banned him from ever working with children.
His computer use will be monitored and he will be on the sex offender register for ten years.
- Daily Mail