Birmingham & Black Country

Breast surgeon Ian Paterson denies court verbal abuse

Ian Paterson Image copyright Other
Image caption Ian Paterson has been giving evidence all week at Nottingham Crown Court

A breast surgeon accused of carrying out unnecessary operations has denied verbally abusing a witness while she was giving evidence against him.

Ian Paterson denies 20 counts of wounding with intent against nine women and one man at Nottingham Crown Court.

He said he did not direct abusive language at Dr Rosemary Platt as she took the stand, but had said "she wasn't telling the truth".

Dr Platt was one of 10 alleged victims of Mr Paterson.

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The prosecution asked Mr Paterson whether he had called Dr Platt a "lying bitch" as she took the stand at Nottingham Crown Court.

He replied: "No. Why would I use language like that about a patient?

"I said that I thought she wasn't telling the truth."

He also told the court he was not saying the 10 alleged victims were "liars", rather he believes their memories had become confused over time.

Guidelines 'not laws'

Prosecutors claim Dr Platt had three unnecessary operations including a mastectomy of her right breast.

On two occasions Mr Paterson went ahead with procedures without waiting for a report by a specialist breast pathologist, the court heard.

In those cases, the pathologist did not recommend surgery.

Mr Paterson has been giving evidence all week about procedures he carried out between 1997 and 2011 at two West Midlands' hospitals.

He said although he was aware of professional surgical guidelines, they were "not rules or laws, written in stone".

He said while the guidelines were "entirely appropriate" for most patients, they were not a perfect fit for every case.

Free mastectomy offer

Jurors have previously heard the 59-year-old surgeon may have carried out some of the unnecessary operations in order to earn extra money.

Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC asked the defendant about a double mastectomy on another patient Frances Perks, when potentially pre-cancerous disease had only been found in one of her breasts.

Mr Paterson, of Ashley, Greater Manchester, said he had been responding to the patient's "obvious distress" by offering her a double mastectomy and had offered to perform the surgery for free as her insurance would only cover surgery on her left breast.

"She even considered funding the anaesthetist's part of the right side herself, but it transpired that didn't happen - I think it was too expensive for her," he said.

Mr Christopher asked: "Did you tell her she would get breast cancer if she didn't have a double mastectomy?"

Mr Paterson said: "I'm not sure I was as stark as that, to be that cruel to a patient - but she was aware of her risk."

The trial continues.

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