TEARS of joy, relief and sadness greeted the breaking news that rogue breast surgeon Ian Paterson has been jailed for 15 years.
Many of Paterson’s victims, their families and supporters were gathered together in Knowle as details emerged today of the sentence handed down to the ‘evil’ surgeon by a judge at Nottingham Crown Court.
Paterson was last month found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent, relating to nine women and one man.
Jurors also convicted the 59-year-old – described by police and his victims as having a ‘God complex’ – of three further wounding charges.
He will now face up to 15 years behind bars – but could be eligible for parole after just half his sentence.
And while justice has been done with the guilty verdict – his victims believe the sentence is totally unacceptable.
Paterson victim Sarah Jane Downing spoke to Observer editor Chris Willmott after the jail term was handed out.
“The sentence is totally unacceptable,” she said.
“It is not representative of what he has done and the number of people he has harmed, physically and mentally.
“People have lost their lives because of him.”
Sarah Jane also believes the sentence is not reflective of the rest of Paterson’s hundreds of victims whose cases were not considered in court.
Jo Thomson, another of Paterson’s Solihull victims, said she was also disappointed with the sentence.
“I’m not jubilant or happy,” she added.
“He could be out in under eight years – having his sentence cut short – but none of his victims will ever have their sentences cut short – we have to live with what he did every day of our lives.”
Fellow Solihull victim Nadia Measures said the sentence was an insult to the hundreds of people Paterson carried out unnecessary and negligent procedures on.
“If you break down the 15 year sentence it works out at less than a month behind bars for every one of his victims – and that is outrageous,” she added.
“He should have got life – and it should have meant life – he has scarred and killed so many people and the sentence should reflect that.”
Pamela Jain, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Paterson had repeatedly abused his victims’ trust for more than a decade.
She added: “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.”
Speaking after the sentence, Linda Millband, national lead lawyer for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors added: “At last Ian Paterson has been brought to book for the horrendous crimes he committed against his patients, but the injustice continues as the case has highlighted a gaping loophole in the justice system. Private healthcare providers like Spire are trying to get away with shirking their responsibility when things go wrong.”