Cambridgeshire

Paedophile doctor Myles Bradbury went to orphanage in Swaziland

Myles Bradbury in Bulembu
Image caption Myles Bradbury arrived in Swaziland in 2012 as part of a team helping 300 children

A paedophile doctor went on a church mission to an African orphanage months after UK authorities were warned he was a possible suspect, the BBC can reveal.

In September, cancer consultant Myles Bradbury admitted abusing 18 boys in his care at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, between 2009 and 2013.

But he went undetected to help children with Aids in Swaziland in 2012.

Cambridgeshire Police has been told about the trip, but said it had "no evidence to suggest he had offended".

Ten days after his return, he abused two boys in a single day.

In total, Bradbury, 41, from Herringswell, Suffolk, pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court to 25 offences, including sexual assault and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images.

'All left with children'

The UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) were told by Canadian police about Bradbury buying suspect movies online in July 2012, but local officers were not told until November 2013.

In November 2012, the paediatrician and 15 other members of the KingsGate Christian evangelical church in Peterborough boarded a plane headed for Bulembu.

The 12-day church mission - part of the Bulembu Community Development Project - was to help more than 300 children whose parents died from Aids in the former asbestos mining town.

Image caption While in Bulembu, Myles Bradbury visited a clinic

Swaziland struggles to care for an estimated 120,000 children who have been orphaned and has the highest rate of HIV in the world.

While there, the team helped to build homes, paths and playgrounds and assisted with medical concerns.

Two sources on the mission have told the BBC that Bradbury spent time alone with children at the orphanage.

"Normally, the orphanage won't allow visitors to be with the children, but because they are from the church they had special permission," one source said.

"Everyone had been CRB checked in the UK."

They said volunteers would spend time as a group with the children in the mornings, playing activities such as football. Each volunteer would then be left alone with up to six children in the afternoons for "two to three hours".

They said the doctor also spent half his time at a medical centre.

Another source said they saw Bradbury repeatedly left alone with a group of boys aged 11 to 16.

"We were all left with children," they said.

"In the morning we all had our jobs - Myles would go off to the surgery. I don't know if he was supervised. A senior paediatrician. The doctor would have been over the moon to have someone like Myles helping out."

Image caption The orphanage in Bulembu where Bradbury worked

While there is no evidence to suggest Bradbury abused children at the orphanage, UK police said Bradbury was highly manipulative in his abuse at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

At the Cambridge site, he filmed a patient using a spy pen and carried out abuse behind a hospital curtain, just feet away from unsuspecting parents.


Myles Bradbury timeline

1996: Graduated with an MB ChB degree from the University of Birmingham in 1996

2004 to 2008: Temporarily employed as a registrar between 2004 and 2007 at Birmingham Children's Hospital and then as a consultant

November 2008: Began working at Addenbrooke's Hospital. Was the clinical trials lead for paediatric haematology and oncology. Also held clinics four times a year at hospitals in Colchester and Ipswich between 2008 and 2013

July 2012: Ceop alerted to Bradbury buying suspect videos off the internet

November 2012: Went on a 12-day trip to an orphanage in Swaziland

27 November 2013: Ceop information shared with Suffolk Police - the same day the first complaint about Bradbury's behaviour was reported to Addenbrooke's. He was immediately suspended from the hospital

18 December 2013: Police arrest Bradbury

15 September 2014: Bradbury admits abusing patients

18 September 2014: The National Crime Agency, which took over CEOP, refers its handling of information about Bradbury and other potential paedophiles to the Independent Police Complaints Commission


Detectives also found a disc containing more than 16,000 images of children downloaded from the internet. Police say they will never know how many children Bradbury attacked because he threw away his laptop hard drive.

The hospital, which has described its shock at discovering his abuse of patients, said Bradbury booked annual leave in November 2012, but did not know he used it to travel to Africa.

Bradbury was one of 2,345 UK suspects identified in Project Spade, which was run by police in Toronto.

In July 2012 the information was passed to Ceop, but the UK body deemed it "low risk" and it was not disseminated to Suffolk Police until 27 November 2013. Coincidentally, it was the same day Addenbrooke's Hospital received its first complaint.

During the delay Bradbury abused eight more boys at Addenbrooke's Hospital. The National Crime Agency (NCA), which runs Ceop, has referred its conduct to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Image caption Shots of the group heading to Swaziland were taken prior to take-off

KingsGate Church had not told police about the orphanage trip, but after the BBC contacted them to request an interview it informed officers.

A statement said: "We are shocked and deeply saddened at the actions of Dr Myles Bradbury and at the devastating impact that these have had on the lives of many.

"Dr Bradbury attended Sunday services at KingsGate Community Church, Cambridge, for around six months from 2012-13 but had no involvement in children's work at the church.

"As soon as the charges against Dr Bradbury were revealed in early July 2014, we promptly contacted Bulembu. Bulembu then instituted a detailed investigation to make sure that he had not had any one-to-one contact with children during that time.

"They found no evidence that he had any unsupervised involvement with children and was always accompanied by community development project staff."

The Bulembu Ministries that run the orphanage said after checking Bradbury's volunteer work schedule, accommodation arrangements, who he interacted with and where he spent time in the clinic, "no untoward or inappropriate behaviour was noted".

It said it was working with the Swaziland authorities to "further the investigation".

Cambridgeshire Police said it heard about the trip from another source earlier this year, but added it had since spoken to the KingsGate church.

A spokesman said: "From this information, we had no suspicions that he had posed a risk to children whilst on the trip.

"The focus of the investigation was based on evidence and we had no evidence to suggest he had offended abroad."

Bradbury's two-day sentencing hearing will begin on Friday. He has been told to expect a long sentence.

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