We looked in May at the case of Ian Paterson, the surgeon who was sentenced to 15 years after being convicted of carrying out unnecessary surgeries on his patients.
When sentence was passed, we said that it was likely that the Court of Appeal would consider the sentence, we didn’t think that it would be reduced. We got that right.
However, we also said that we did not think that it would succeed, commenting that “the Judge seems to have done an excellent job of explaining the reasons behind the sentence that he passed“.
Well, not for the first time, we got that wrong. On 3rd August 2017, the Court of Appeal increased Dr Paterson’s sentence to 20 years.
Although they commented that it was a difficult sentencing exercise, “there had been a breach of trust and an abuse of power and took into account the vulnerability of the patients – some of whom were under his care for a decade or more“.
The impact of the victims was great – they had been “left feeling violated and vulnerable” and “They have lost their trust in others, particularly some in the medical profession“.
When looking at the case in the round, the sentence imposed was simply too short.
The transcript of the judgment has not been published, but will be in due course. When it is, we will have a bit more detail as to the exact nature of the Court’s reasoning (and will have a look in more detail), although it seems that the gist of what they were saying was clear.