Scots surgeon guilty of performing needless breast operations

Scots-born surgeon Ian Patersons operations saw hundreds of patients recalled and dozens receiving payouts from the NHS. Picture: SWNS
Scots-born surgeon Ian Patersons operations saw hundreds of patients recalled and dozens receiving payouts from the NHS. Picture: SWNS
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A Scottish-born breast surgeon has been convicted of carrying out a series of “completely unnecessary” operations.

Ian Paterson was described in court by one victim as being “like God”, lying to patients and exaggerating or inventeing the risk of cancer to convince them to go under the knife.

I hope he goes down for a very long time and I hope he has a dreadful time in prison and hope he rots in hell

Frances Perks, victim

The 59-year-old did so for “obscure motives” which may have included a desire to “earn extra money”, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

After a seven-week trial, Paterson was convicted yesterday by a jury on 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding.

Judge Jeremy Baker released Paterson on conditional bail ahead of sentencing next month. The maximum sentence for wounding with intent is life.

The surgeon, originally from Glasgow, had maintained that all the operations were necessary – but a jury of six men and five women agreed with the prosecution that Paterson carried out “extensive, life-changing operations for no medically justifiable reason”.

Patersonsobbed as the foreman of the jury returned the guilty verdicts, as did his daughter Emily, who was also in court.

Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC spoke of 20 unnecessary operations causing “really serious harm” to nine women and a man, saying they fell “quite outside the realms of reasonable surgery”.

Frances Perks, whose mother and sister died from breast cancer, was advised to undergo a series of operations, fearing she could develop “full-blown cancer”.

She said: “I think he’s a psychopath. Why would anyone in their right mind do operations to people knowing that they didn’t need them? My feelings towards him is I hate him with a passion. You wouldn’t be able to print what I truly think of him and what I would like to see happen to him.

“But I hope he goes down for a very long time and I hope he has a dreadful time in prison and hope he rots in hell.”

There are fears he could have thousands of other victims and dozens of women have already received payouts for treatment after settling civil claims.

Jurors were told at the start of the trial they should not conduct any research into the case – and were not told that hundreds of Paterson’s patients were recalled in 2012 after concerns about unnecessary or incomplete operations.

The surgeon was suspended by the General Medical Council that same year amid claims he carried out so-called cleavage-sparing mastectomies (CSMs) which led to the recall of more than 700 patients.