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Abuse doctor wins cut in sentence

Published 12/06/2015

Paediatric haematologist Dr Myles Bradbury is challenging his jail term
Paediatric haematologist Dr Myles Bradbury is challenging his jail term

A children's doctor who abused 18 boys in his care has had his 22-year jail sentence reduced to 16 years.

Myles Bradbury, 42, from Herringswell, Suffolk, who worked as a paediatric consultant haematologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, had his custodial term reduced by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.

Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave and Mr Justice Goss announced that they were "restructuring" the original 22 years, replacing it with a custodial element of 16 years with an additional six years on licence.

Bradbury, who was described by the trial judge at Cambridge Crown Court as one of the worst paedophiles he had ever seen, watched proceedings today via video-link from prison on the Isle of Wight.

He was jailed in December after pleading guilty to more than 20 offences, including sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images, involving boys aged between 10 and 16.

All of the victims suffered from leukaemia, haemophilia or other serious conditions. Some have since died.

Bradbury filmed some of them using a spy pen and abused others behind a curtain while their parents were in the room.

Lady Justice Hallett, who described Bradbury's offending as "wicked", said the court agreed with the sentencing judge that "a total figure of 22 years was appropriate".

But she said they believed that a "better way both to punish the appellant and protect the public" was to "restructure the sentence".

She described Bradbury as "dangerous" and said the consequences of his offending had been widespread and "devastating" for the victims and their families.

Bradbury must serve two-thirds of the 16 years imposed as part of the extended sentence before he can apply for parole.

Afterwards, Renu Daly of Hudgell Solicitors, which represented a large number of the families, said that, while there was disappointment that the sentence had been cut, the situation was "much better".

She said the restructuring meant that Bradbury would serve 10 years eight months before even being considered for release and would face far stricter criteria, which would keep the public safer for longer.

She said it had been very difficult for the families concerned - two of whom were in court.

"It was very upsetting for them, and that was quite apparent by their clear distress at seeing this man again."

Lady Justice Hallett said: "As far as the impact of the appellant's offending is concerned, it has been exceptionally widespread.

"The impact on the children and their parents has been devastating. Many parents blame themselves for not knowing what was going on and/or trusting the appellant."

Some parents had seen "a significant change in the personality of their child".

Some children had suffered from clinical depression, nightmares, stress, feelings of anger and shame, and had required counselling and therapy.

The judge said: "Not surprisingly, some find they cannot trust doctors any more and have not sought medical attention when they should. More than one has suffered severe psychological harm."

She said that parents of children who had died and were trying to come to terms with their loss had been caused the worry of wondering if their child had been a victim.

The judge added that Bradbury's colleagues "felt guilt, anger and shame for failing to appreciate what was happening".

She added: "The reputation of the hospital has suffered, the reputation of paediatric medicine has suffered.

"Patients generally and their families who need to trust healthcare professionals may find it more difficult to do so."

Lady Justice Hallett said the circumstances of Bradbury's offending was "extremely grave".

The harm caused was "far-reaching" and "precious resources" had been diverted "which should have been used in treating sick people".

Bradbury "exploited and manipulated" his position for his own sexual gratification and appeared to have targeted the "particularly vulnerable".

The judge said: "We have yet to encounter a more egregious breach of trust."

He had said himself he was "addicted" to his behaviour.

The judge said: "We have no doubt that he poses a significant risk of serious harm to other boys who may cross his path."

She said there was only one mitigating feature. That was his plea of guilty and he was "entitled to full credit for that fact".

Under his old sentence Bradbury would have been eligible for release after serving half of the term.

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