Rogue surgeon Ian Patterson jailed for 15 years for inventing cancer risks and carrying out needless operations

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Ian Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three of unlawful wounding (Source: Getty)

Spire Healthcare's shares fell slightly today after a consultant surgeon, who performed surgeries at the FTSE-250 firm's hospitals, was jailed for 15 years for carrying out unnecessary operations.

Ian Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three of unlawful wounding at Nottingham Crown Court today.

Jurors were told the disgraced surgeon, who practiced in private hospitals and in the Heart of England NHS trust, exaggerated or invented the risk of cancer.

The NHS has forked out £10m in compensation to Paterson's victims while more than 350 private patients will pursue civil action against him later this year.

Judge Jeremy Baker told him today: "You deliberately played upon their worst fears, either by inventing or deliberately exaggerating the risk that they would develop cancer, and thereby gained their trust and confidence to consent to the surgical procedures which you carried out upon them."

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Thompsons Solicitors is representing nearly 500 of Paterson’s former patients in a civil case against Spire, due to take place in October later this year.

Linda Millband, national lead lawyer for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors said: “At last Ian Paterson has been brought to book for the horrendous crimes he committed against his patients, but the injustice continues as the case has highlighted a gaping loophole in the justice system.

"Private healthcare providers like Spire are trying to get away with shirking their responsibility when things go wrong.”

Spire Healthcare said: “We would like to say again how truly sorry we are for the distress experienced by Mr Paterson's patients. What Paterson did in our hospitals, in other private hospitals and in the NHS absolutely should not have happened and the sentence handed down today reflects the gravity of the crimes he committed.”

At the time of writing Spire Healthcare's shares were down 0.12 per cent at 340.70p.