Birmingham & Black Country

Breast surgeon cancer accusers 'were coached'

Ian Paterson Image copyright Other
Image caption Ian Paterson described one patient as a "quivering mass of anxiety", convinced he would get cancer

A breast surgeon accused of carrying out unnecessary operations has told a court that witness statements against him have been "coached".

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

He said he had never told alleged victims they had "a ticking bomb" of cancer inside them.

He said the phrase appears in three witness statements which was "clear evidence" statements have been coached.

"It's a scary thing, why would I intentionally scare a patient, that you've got a time bomb?" he said.

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The 59-year-old also said one patient, John Ingram, who had a double mastectomy after tests showed only potentially abnormal cells, was a "quivering mass of anxiety", convinced he would get cancer.

Nothing he told him would have changed his mind, Mr Paterson said.

Mr Ingram gave evidence saying Mr Paterson, who worked at hospitals run by the Heart of England NHS Trust and Spire Healthcare, told him in 2006 he was "on the road to developing breast cancer".

But Mr Paterson, of Ashley, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, said on Wednesday that Mr Ingram's memory had become "confused" over time.

He described his patient as a "troubled gentleman with multiple phobias - one of them breast cancer, because his mother had died of breast cancer, aged 42".

"So the minute he had an abnormality in his chest wall, in his head he was on the way to getting breast cancer," he said.

"Very little I told him thereafter would disavow him of that view."

Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC asked whether it was "quite wrong" to say he would "travel in time towards cancer".

Mr Paterson said: "I doubt I said that, simply because nobody has a crystal ball."

The trial continues.

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