Ian Paterson: Breast surgeon jailed for 15 years for unnecessary operations

Surgeon sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court after being found guilty of wounding with intent

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The Independent Online

A rogue breast surgeon who carried out a series of needless operations on patients has been jailed for 15 years.

Ian Paterson was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court after he was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent, leaving his victims scarred and disfigured.

The 59-year-old denied all the charges, meaning the victims – nine women and one man, whom Paterson falsely told had breast cancer – had their stories put under forensic examination.

Among them was a mother who was said to have agreed to two “unnecessary” operations, leaving her unable to breastfeed.

A woman also had a “significant deformity in her visible cleavage area” after a pair of needless operations on her left breast.

Another victim told the court the surgeon, also convicted of three counts of unlawful wounding, had “ruined my life”.

Judge Jeremy Baker told Paterson he was driven by his “own self-aggrandisement and the material rewards which it brought from your private practice”.

The judge said: “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.”

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Judith Conduit (second from left) arrives with other victims at Nottingham Crown Court where Ian Paterson, a surgeon convicted of carrying out a series of needless breast operations, was sentenced (Press Association)

Paterson was handed 15 years for each count of wounding with intent, and four years for each count of unlawful wounding, all to run concurrently.

The Scottish-born surgeon was suspended by the General Medical Council in 2012 amid claims he carried out cleavage-sparing mastectomies (CSMs), which led to the recall of more than 700 patients.

He was accused of causing grievous bodily harm to patients and lying to his victims, “exaggerating or quite simply inventing risk of cancer”, and claiming payments for more expensive procedures.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that 68 women who underwent a CSM – in which part of the breast tissue is not removed, and can increase the risk of the disease returning – by Paterson on the NHS had gone on to develop a recurrence of breast cancer.

Figures also revealed that the NHS has paid out nearly £18m, of which £9.5m was damages, following claims from nearly 800 of Paterson’s patients – a fact that the jury were not made aware of during proceedings.

Additional reporting from Press Association

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