Victims of a “monster” surgeon who carried out a raft of needless operations have described how his crimes have left them in constant pain and struggling to trust medical professionals.
Ian Paterson was convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against 10 patients last month. He has been jailed for 15 years.
At Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday, ahead of his sentencing, statements from some of his 10 private patients were read out, detailing the impact of his butchery on their lives.
To applause from some in the public gallery, victim John Ingram addressed the court and described Paterson 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.
“The harm he caused me went much further than the acts of drugging, then cutting open my body and removing healthy tissue from my chest, when there was absolutely no medical need to do so.”
Mr Ingram said, as a result of his ordeal, he feels two distinct forms of pain on a daily basis, a deep pain along the surgery scars and a “dreadful sensation of burning and pain” over his phantom nipple.
Mr Ingram said, once it became clear that not only was his surgery “not medically necessary” and that Paterson had “actively deceived and manipulated” him, his reaction was one of “incomprehension, confusion, and disbelief”.
He also said Paterson holds “no concept of remorse” for his “dreadful crimes”, adding: “This in itself is passive perpetuation of the insult we suffer.”
A seven-week trial into his crimes heard how Paterson lied to patients and exaggerated or invented the risk of cancer to convince them to go under the knife.
The court has been told the 59-year-old did so for “obscure motives” which may have included a desire to “earn extra money”.
The impact statement of Carole Johnson was read out to the court by Julian Christopher QC, prosecuting.
She described Paterson as a “monster”.
Ms Johnson said she “feels violated and vulnerable”, and has “lost a lot of trust in medical professionals”.
She said, since she learnt her operations and procedures were unnecessary, her “world has been turned upside down”.
“I feel part of the woman I used to be, with no confidence at all,” her statement read.
“I do not think I can find it within my heart to ever forgive him.”
Another victim, Dr Rosemary Platt, said in her statement, also read out by the prosecution, that one of the long term effects of Paterson’s actions are “painful, mutilating scars”.
Her statement read: “In itself a cancer diagnosis was traumatic, living with it was difficult.
“Then to find the extensive surgery I had suffered was totally unnecessary was devastating.”
With depression a psychological impact of her ordeal, she said what she has been through has also “shaken” her trust in fellow medical professionals.
Patricia Welch had a lump removed from her breast by Paterson in 2001 when she was 48, with tests showing she was at risk of cancer.
In her statement, also read out by the prosecution, she said: “Before being told that they were unnecessary, when I looked at myself in the mirror I saw someone that had avoided cancer by having a mastectomy.
“Now, and probably for the rest of my life, I see a victim of Ian Paterson who took away part of me as a woman.”