UK Judges extend prison term of surgeon who scarred patients

Court of Appeal judges increased the prison term of Ian Paterson, who left victims scarred and disfigured, to 20 years from the ''unduly lenient'' 15 years that he was given originally in May.

Lady justice Hallett, sitting with Mrs justice Carr and Mr justice Goss, said yesterday, ''Both the harm and culpability here were exceptionally high.''

The judges heard from nine women and one man who were treated in the private sector at Little Aston and Parkway Hospitals in the West Midlands between 1997 and 2011.

The court was told that Patterson's crimes had left them in constant pain and struggling to trust medical professionals.

Justice Hallett said, ''How any doctor, let alone one who had earned an enviable reputation, could have engaged in this level of offending we will never know.''

Solicitor general Robert Buckland, who referred the case for review, said afterwards, ''Throughout our lives we are told and expected to trust doctors. Paterson woefully abused that trust – he deliberately preyed on people's worst fears and then mutilated them on the operating table.

''This is a truly sickening crime and my thoughts are with the victims and their families. I hope the increased sentence will help bring some closure for them.''

According to a former patient Debbie Douglas, the extension ''sends the right message'', but the fight for all Paterson's victims continued.

The mother-of-three had undergone an entirely unnecessary cleavage-sparing mastectomy at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull, which left her in ''horrendous'' pain.

The operation left her both physically and mentally traumatised, as the doctor she had trusted to tell her the truth about her diagnosis, had fed her a pack of lies.

Douglas, said, ''When he got 15 years, I was just happy to see him put away, and that he was off the streets, The Scotsman reported. ''But afterwards, we thought it was just too lenient for what he had done.