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31 May 2017, 13:59
'Monster' Scottish-born surgeon Ian Paterson has been jailed for 15 years after he carried out a raft of needless breast operations, leaving his victims scarred and disfigured.
Paterson 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 on Wednesday, Judge Jeremy Baker told him 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.''
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.
Before hearing his sentence, his victims told the court how his crimes had left them in constant pain and struggling to trust medical professionals.
To applause from the public gallery, John Ingram described Paterson, 59, 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 the other victims in this trial.''
Carole Johnson, who went under Paterson's knife six times in seven years with all but the first procedure unnecessary, told the court Paterson was a ''monster''.
Ms Johnson said she ''feels violated and vulnerable'' and has ''lost a lot of trust in medical professionals''.
She said, since she learned her operations and procedures were unnecessary, her ''world has been turned upside down''.
She added: ''I do not think I can find it within my heart to ever forgive him.''
After sentencing, Pamela Jain, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Paterson repeatedly abused his victims' trust over more than a decade.
She said: ''He knew the procedures were not needed but carried on regardless, inflicting unlawful wounds on his patients.
''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.''
Wearing dark trousers, a blue jacket, light blue striped shirt and a red tie, Paterson, who took a large black suitcase into the courtroom, sat in the dock as his sentence was handed down.
Judge Baker said all of his victims have been left feeling ''violated and vulnerable'', with some suffering ''prolonged psychological conditions'' including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.
He added: ''You can be both a charming and charismatic individual ... these are the same characteristics which you deliberately misused in this case, both to manipulate your patients into believing what you were advising them, and in your evidence at trial, when you sought to persuade the jury about the righteousness of your position.''
Judge Baker also drew attention to the ''less attractive side'' of Paterson's character, namely arrogance, which he said may have misled the surgeon into believing he was ''untouchable'', and that no-one would dare question his authority.
Paterson's trial heard harrowing evidence from 10 of his patients who were treated in the private sector between 1997 and 2011 at Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands.
The victims - nine women and one man - told the court they believed they were seriously ill after seeing Paterson, with one patient saying she was described as a ''cancer ticking bomb'' and another convinced she had cancer - rather than merely being at risk of developing it.
One of the victims of the Scottish-born surgeon looked like a ''car crash victim'' after undergoing an unnecessary mastectomy, while another had a ''significant deformity in her visible cleavage area'' after a pair of needless operations on her left breast.
The surgeon maintained that all the operations were necessary but the jury agreed with the prosecution that Paterson carried out ''extensive, life-changing operations for no medically justifiable reason''.