Cambridgeshire

Myles Bradbury: CEOP 'failed to alert abuse doctor to police'

Dr Myles Bradbury Image copyright PA
Image caption CEOP knew Myles Bradbury was buying potentially harmful videos in 2012, it is revealed

Authorities failed to alert police of suspicions about a paedophile doctor more than a year before his arrest in December 2013, it has emerged.

Myles Bradbury, of Addenbrooke's Hospital, admitted offences against boys he was treating for cancer.

Child abuse investigators CEOP were told in July 2012 Bradbury bought suspect movies online, but did not act.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), which took over CEOP, said a case review took place and action was taken.

It said CEOP's delay in disseminating the information was "unacceptable".

Bradbury, 41, a paediatric haematologist from Herringswell, Suffolk, pleaded guilty on Monday at Cambridge Crown Court, to 25 offences including sexual assault and the making of more than 16,000 indecent images.

The offences were committed at the Cambridge hospital against 18 victims, some as young as eight, who were in his care between 2009 and 2013. He has yet to be sentenced.

The NCA tackles serious organised crime and took over the running of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), a non-departmental public body, last year.

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Media captionMarilyn Hawes, who runs Enough Abuse UK, says British authorities did not react fast enough when told by Canadian police of their suspicions about a Cambridgeshire doctor.

It said CEOP received information from Toronto Police, via Interpol, of up to 2,345 UK individuals, including Bradbury, in July 2012.

This was part of the Canadian force's Project Spade investigating child pornography across the world.

The NCA said the material provided to CEOP included "details" of online purchasers of potentially harmful DVDs and videos.

It added the material was assessed by CEOP at the time and the screenshots were classified as Level 1 on the Copine scale, the least harmful grade.

'Serious failing'

Sixteen months later in November 2013, a few weeks after the agency took over CEOP, the NCA said its deputy director general Phil Gormley became aware the material had not been disseminated to UK police forces and took immediate steps to do so.

It said the data on Myles Bradbury was shared with Suffolk Police a few days later on 27 November, which, by coincidence, was the same day a grandparent of a victim at the hospital made a complaint about the doctor.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dr Myles Bradbury admitted a total of 25 offences

Suffolk Police arrested Bradbury on 18 December. Cambridgeshire Police made a further arrest 12 days later.

The NCA said Mr Gormley ordered an independent review of CEOP's handling in 2012, stating that it was clear that all steps "which should have been completed at the time did not take place".

It said the review has now finished and action has been taken, but the details are not yet known.

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat, said: "This is an incredibly serious failing. Even if just one child was abused then that's a huge problem, but in this case it was worse than that.

"There's no excuse for sitting on this. All of us want to stop child abuse images. What's needed is not more powers for the police, it's for them to look at the information they've been given.

"This could have been avoided from almost two years ago."

He added Bradbury's victims had the right to be "furious", but he had been assured by ministers after previously raising the issue in parliament about the 2,345 suspect perpetrators and whether measures had been taken to ensure it would not happen again.

Dr Keith McNeil, chief executive of Addenbrooke's Hospital, said: "These reports that Myles Bradbury was known to the authorities in 2012 will be deeply distressing for patients and families.

"CUH [Cambridge University Hospitals] took immediate action when concerns were first raised with us in November 2013.

"If we had been alerted earlier, we would have taken action earlier."

It previously said it had contacted 800 families of the children it was aware of that Dr Bradbury saw and set up a specialist helpline for anyone affected by the case.

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