Judges in the Court of Appeal have refused convicted West Midland breast surgeon Ian Paterson’s appeal to challenge his convictions. Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding patients with intent against 10 victims in 2017. He was initially handed a 15-year prison term, increased to 20 years in August 2017.
Paterson performed unregulated "cleavage-sparing" mastectomies, in which cancerous tissue was left behind, meaning the disease returned in many of his patients. Other patients had surgery they simply did not need after he advised them that they had pre-cancerous breast lumps. Often the lumps were harmless, but patients were subjected to operations that were completely unnecessary.
Kashmir Uppal, a specialist medical negligence solicitor at Shoosmiths, investigated and brought the first civil case against Paterson in 2010 and is recognised as the lead solicitor in subsequent claims against the rogue surgeon. One of Ian Paterson’s patients represented by Kashmir was Lesley Cuthbert, who had completely unnecessary breast surgery and check-ups over several years. Elizabeth Webb is another Shoosmiths client who also underwent unnecessary breast surgery but was not aware of this until she received a letter from Spire earlier this year advising her that the surgery was never required.
Paterson had today asked senior judges for the go-ahead to challenge his convictions. The court was told that Paterson "denied, and indeed continues to deny, the misconduct of which he was accused at his trial."
His barrister, Joel Bennathan QC, argued that the wrong legal test had been used during Paterson's trial. Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Mrs Justice Cutts and Sir Nigel Davis, turned down the attempt to challenge Paterson’s convictions, saying that their reasons for doing so will be given in writing at a later date.
Kashmir Uppal said:
“Any application for leave to appeal a conviction has to be supported by new evidence that was not available at the time of the trial. Clearly the Court of Appeal either could find no new evidence or considered any such evidence, if it was presented, to be insufficient to support an appeal. This was a tactless attempt on his part to evade justice and potentially to intimidate those who have been recently recalled, stopping them from coming forward. I am pleased the court reached the decision they did.”
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2021