Breast surgeon's 'unduly lenient' sentence to be re-considered


A surgeon jailed for 15 years after carrying out needless breast operations faces a bid to increase his sentence.

Ian Paterson, who left victims scarred and disfigured, was handed the prison term in May following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

But Court of Appeal judges are now being asked to rule on whether a term of 15 years for his crimes is "unduly lenient" and should be increased.

The case has been referred to the court by Solicitor General Robert Buckland.

Lady Justice Hallett, Mrs Justice Carr and Mr Justice Goss will review the sentence at a hearing in London on Thursday.

Paterson, 59, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was convicted by a jury of offences of wounding with intent and unlawful wounding against 10 patients.

Sentencing him to a total of 15 years, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told Paterson: "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.''

The judge said Paterson was ''charming and charismatic'' and used those characteristics to manipulate patients.

His trial heard evidence from nine women and one man who were treated in the private sector at Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands between 1997 and 2011.

Victims told the court of how Paterson's crimes had left them in constant pain and struggling to trust medical professionals.

The judge said that because of his actions, most of his victims were suffering from ''prolonged psychological conditions'' including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

In 2012, more than 700 patients of Paterson, who also worked in the NHS, were recalled after concerns about unnecessary or incomplete operations.

Following his trial, Paterson was struck off from the medical profession.

A tribunal ruled that his actions were "serious" and "intentionally harmful" over a period of 14 years.

His failure to acknowledge any of his faults showed a lack of insight that indicated he still posed a serious risk to patients, the medical practitioners tribunal also concluded.