Jury Considering Verdicts In Breast Surgeon's 'Wounding' Trial

20 April 2017, 11:37

Nottingham Crown Court Entrance

A jury has been sent out to consider verdicts in the trial of a breast surgeon accused of wounding 10 patients after allegedly carrying out a series of "completely unnecessary'' operations.

Ian Paterson lied to his alleged victims, "exaggerating or quite simply inventing the risk of cancer'' and claimed payments for more expensive procedures, Nottingham Crown Court has heard.

The seven-week trial heard the 59-year-old's alleged motives were "obscure'', but may have included a desire to "earn extra money''.

Scottish-born Paterson, of Castle Mill Lane, Ashley, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, denies 20 counts of wounding with intent against nine women and one man relating to procedures he carried out between 1997 and 2011.

The court heard one alleged victim looked like "she had been involved in a car crash'' after undergoing an "entirely unnecessary'' mastectomy despite only having a series of benign growths.

Other alleged victims included a mother who is said to have agreed to two "unnecessary operations'' leaving her unable to breastfeed and a woman who had a "significant deformity in her visible cleavage area'' after a pair of needless operations on her left breast.

Opening the crown's case in February, prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said the operations carried out by Paterson were ones which "no reasonable surgeon at the time would have considered justified''.

He said: "The principle issue in this case is likely to be whether (the patient) was harmed lawfully or whether the prosecution are right that what Mr Paterson did fell quite outside the realms of reasonable surgery.

"Because firstly it was completely unnecessary and no reasonable surgeon would have carried it out.

"And because, the prosecution suggest, Mr Paterson was carrying it out not because he thought it was in the best interests of the patient, but for his own perhaps obscure motives.

"Whether to maintain his image as a busy successful surgeon in great demand and at the top of his game, whether to earn extra money by doing extra operations and follow up consultations ... or because Mr Paterson enjoyed the responsibility that came with helping people.''

In court, Paterson had said he did not think any of his patients were liars but that their memories of what they claimed happened had become faded and confused with time.

He told the jury of six men and five women: "I'm not calling any of these patients liars, I just think they remember what they remember now.''

Paterson said his notes made at each patient's consultation were "a much more reliable record of what happened''.

Jurors also heard Paterson speak of his innocence at a police interview relating to the allegations on January 8 2013.

In a statement read by prosecutors, he said: "All surgical procedures taken by him were appropriate and necessary and he denies any allegations of unnecessary surgery or bad faith.''

He denied the operations were carried out "for the purpose of financial gain or any other purpose'', describing suggestions he carried out the operations for money as "abhorrent''.