Pair sentenced for horse scanner breast cancer fraud

  • Published
Sophie GentImage source, Staffordshire County Council
Image caption,
Sophie Gent admitted two charges relating to fraud by false representation and a further charge on behalf of her company, Syncthermology Ltd

Fraudsters who claimed a horse scanner could discover breast cancer in humans have been sentenced.

At least 10 people were scanned with the device, but it is not known exactly how many used the screening service and may have concerns about their health, Staffordshire County Council said.

Sophie Gent, 31, had claimed the scanner could detect abnormalities earlier than a mammogram could.

William Bradford, 81, the council said, then trained people in how to use them.

Their sentencing hearing at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Gent, of Neats Gate farm, in Uppingham Road, Leicester, sold the equipment, and the pair claimed it had been accredited by the British College of Veterinary Thermology (BCVT).

However, the BCTV did not exist, Gent had no medical qualifications, and had been warned by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to stop making the false claims.

Bradford, of Keates Road, Cambridge, had the UK sales rights for the equine VET2000 from its US manufacturers.

Image source, Staffordshire County Council
Image caption,
A screenshot taken from the website shows false claims about the VET2000's abilities

Between 2011 and 2017, the court heard, Bradford helped carry out 17 human scans and Gent sold "at least three" scanner devices and training packages.

Prosecutor Tony Watkin said: "It should never have been placed on the market and it should not have been used in any circumstances in human medicine."

Dianne Foulkes, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, was among those who bought the devices and carried out around 10 scans on women.

"Once I became aware Ms Gent had made this claim falsely, I reported my concerns to the relevant authorities and wrote to my medical clients," she said.

Gent had admitted two charges relating to fraud by false representation and a further charge on behalf of her company, Syncthermology Ltd.

She was given 140 hours of community service, ordered to pay £3,600 costs and compensation of £2,500.

Her company, Syncthermology, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,600 costs and £2,500 compensation.

Bradford, who had also admitted a charge of fraud by false representation, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months ordered to pay £2,950 costs.

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