Belfast Telegraph

Disgraced Bangor-raised surgeon gets 15 years

By Georgina Stubbs

A 'monster' surgeon with links to Northern Ireland has been jailed for 15 years after he carried out a raft of needless breast operations, leaving his victims scarred and disfigured.

Ian Paterson (59) was convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against 10 patients last month.

Sentencing the surgeon at Nottingham Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Baker said Paterson, who grew up in Bangor, Co Down, and was a former Bangor Grammar pupil, was driven by his "own self-aggrandisement and the material rewards which it brought".

He added: "You deliberately played upon their worst fears, either by inventing or deliberately exaggerating the risk that they would develop cancer, and thereby gained their trust and confidence to consent to the surgical procedures which you carried out upon them."

Paterson, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was handed 15 years for each count of wounding with intent, and four years for each count of unlawful wounding - to run concurrently.

Judge Baker said Paterson is "charming and charismatic" and used these characteristics to manipulate patients.

He also drew attention to Paterson's arrogance, which he said may have misled the surgeon into believing he was "untouchable".

With his conviction marking the end of his professional career, Judge Baker said he felt Paterson "deliberately exaggerated" symptoms he was suffering associated with adjustment disorder, to "seek to avoid being convicted".

Entering the courtroom with a large black suitcase, Paterson showed little emotion, often keeping his eyes down.

His trial heard harrowing evidence from the nine women and one man, who were treated in the private sector between 1997 and 2011 at Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands.

Before hearing his sentence, the victims told the court how Paterson's crimes had left them in constant pain and left struggling to trust medical professionals.

To applause from the public gallery, John Ingram described Paterson as a "criminal" who has "never expressed remorse for his actions".

He said: "He used the respectability and cloak of professionalism that came with being a consultant breast cancer surgeon to commit grotesque, violent acts against me and other victims."

Carole Johnson, who went under Paterson's knife six times in seven years with all but the first procedure unnecessary, said Paterson was a "monster".

She said her "world has been turned upside down" by having the unnecessary procedures, adding: "I do not think I can find it within my heart to ever forgive him."

Afterwards Pamela Jain, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Paterson repeatedly abused his victims' trust.

"The impact of Paterson's actions on his victims has been devastating, from the unnecessary distress of undergoing procedures they did not need, to the scars that will always serve as a physical reminder of what their doctor, Ian Paterson, did to them," she said.

The NHS has paid out nearly £18m, of which £9.5m was damages, following claims from nearly 800 of his patients.

Belfast Telegraph


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