Birmingham & Black Country

Jury retires in trial of breast surgeon Ian Paterson

Ian Paterson Image copyright Sutton Coldfield Observer
Image caption Ian Paterson denies exaggerating or lying to patients about the risk of cancer

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of a breast surgeon accused of carrying out "completely unnecessary" operations.

Ian Paterson denies 20 counts of wounding with intent against nine women and one man between 1997 and 2011.

During the seven-week trial, Nottingham Crown Court heard the 59 year old exaggerated or lied about the risk of cancer, possibly to earn extra money.

Mr Paterson, from Greater Manchester, said the suggestion was "abhorrent".

He said notes he made at each patient's consultation were "a much more reliable record of what happened" compared to the evidence they provided during the trial.

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"I'm not calling any of these patients liars, I just think they remember what they remember now," Mr Paterson told the court.

'Obscure motives'

Jurors have heard that one woman looked like "she had been involved in a car crash" after undergoing an "entirely unnecessary" mastectomy despite only having benign growths.

Another alleged victim, a mother, is said to have agreed to two "unnecessary operations" leaving her unable to breastfeed.

A third patient was left with a "significant deformity in her visible cleavage area" after needless operations on her left breast, the court heard.

During the opening for the prosecution in February, Julian Christopher QC said the operations were ones which "no reasonable surgeon at the time would have considered justified".

"The principle issue in this case is likely to be whether [the patient] was harmed lawfully or whether the prosecution are right that what Mr Paterson did fell quite outside the realms of reasonable surgery.

"Firstly, because it was completely unnecessary and no reasonable surgeon would have carried it out and because, the prosecution suggest, Mr Paterson was carrying it out not because he thought it was in the best interests of the patient but for his own, perhaps obscure, motives."

The trial has examined procedures Mr Paterson, of Castle Mill Lane, Ashley, Altrincham, carried out at two West Midlands' hospitals, the Heart of England NHS Trust and the privately run Spire Healthcare hospitals.

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