DISGRACED breast surgeon Ian Paterson – who ‘butchered and maimed’ patients with unnecessary operations – faces five years longer in jail after a Court of Appeal judgement today.
The hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London was told Paterson’s sentence of 15 years in prison – handed down in May – was ‘unduly lenient’ given the extent of his crimes.
He had been convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three of unlawful wounding.
His jail sentence has now been extended to 20 years.
The case was referred to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme by the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth.
The 59-year-old rogue surgeon worked at hospitals run by the Heart of England NHS Trust and also practiced privately at Bupa hospitals in Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, latterly run by Spire Healthcare.
More cases are being brought against him by some of his private patients.
Kashmir Uppal, of Access Legal, a lawyer who for years represented Paterson’s clients in seeking justice, told the Observer from the court after the verdict: “I’m pleased the sentence has been increased.
“It’s still not enough to reflect the seriousness of his crimes and the impact on patients. But it recognises that 15 years was not enough.
“Unfortunately, Mr Paterson still showed no remorse.
“We are still working on civil cases and have been instructed by a number of patients.
“The full extent of his crimes will never be known because there are other patients who haven’t come forward.”
Thompsons Solicitors’ client Diane Green, who was given two unnecessary double mastectomies by Paterson, said: “I lost everything – my home, my job, my marriage – as a result of what that man did.
“While no amount of jail time can repay what he did, a sentence 15 years which is really only seven and a half, is simply not enough for maiming and butchering hundreds of women like me.”
Linda Millband, national lead lawyer for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We felt (the sentence) was far too lenient by comparison to the legacy he has left on the lives of our clients.”
“However, the criminal sentence is only one part of the story, and our focus remains on a continued drive to guarantee fair and just compensation for affected patients, and to establish stronger legal protections for patients treated privately.
“We want the government to take steps to intervene to put an end to a system which allows private healthcare providers to claim a ‘landlord defence’ which absolves them of legal responsibility and a duty to compensate victims when individuals, like Paterson, deliver negligent treatment and people are harmed on their premises.
“This is about putting Patients Before Profits and making sure private healthcare companies adhere to the same standards and obligations of transparency, safety and accountability as the NHS, and to guarantee that private patients are given the same opportunity to seek compensation if they are subjected to medical negligence.”