Following a referral to the Attorney General's office under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme (ULS) the Court of Appeal today decided to increase disgraced consultant breast surgeon Ian Paterson’s sentence from 15 to 20 years.
Lady Justice Hallett, Mrs Justice Carr and Mr Justice Goss reviewed the sentence at a hearing in London with Paterson participating via video link from Nottingham jail. The surgeon was found guilty of 17 charges of wounding with intent and three of unlawful wounding relating to nine women and one man at Nottingham Crown Court on 31 May 2017.
Giving the court’s reason for increasing the sentence, Lady Justice Hallett cited several factors, including his betrayal of trust and abuse of power, the ongoing long-term physical, psychological and financial effects on his victims and the fact that his actions in deceiving people into thinking they required surgery (when in fact those operations were not necessary at all) were pre-meditated. The court concluded that the previous sentence, in light of all those considerations, was not just and proportionate.
Kashmir Uppal, a specialist medical negligence solicitor has been instrumental in pursuing claims on behalf of those injured by Paterson since 2010. She was the lead solicitor in the Paterson case before she joined Shoosmiths as a medical negligence partner and continues to represent women and men treated by Paterson in the private health sector.
‘Many clients felt that 20 years would have been a proportionate sentence at the original trial, so they will be pleased with this result, although the court did not specify a minimum term, so it is still feasible that Paterson could walk free after serving just 10 years. I know that will not satisfy many of my clients who will still feel the punishment is inadequate compared to the life-long suffering they will have to endure.’
‘The recognition of the severity of his crimes implicit in the court’s decision should hopefully also encourage defendants in ongoing civil claims, who are still disputing liability for his actions in the private sector, to speedily resolve the issue for Paterson’s many private patients who, unlike those he treated in the NHS who have already received compensation, still await resolution and justice for their suffering at his hands.’