British Pediatric Hematologist Jailed for Abusing Young Patients

Zosia Chustecka

December 01, 2014

A British pediatric consultant hematologist, Dr Myles Bradbury, has been sentenced to jail for 22 years for the sexual abuse of 18 boys under his care. The boys were aged 10 to 15 years, and many of them had hemophilia or leukemia.

The sexual assaults occurred over a four-year period (between 2009 and 2013) while Dr Bradbury was working at Addenbrooke's Hospital, part of Cambridge University Hospital (CUH) in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

CUH chief executive, Dr Keith McNeil, said in a statement: "Our thoughts today are with our patients and families who were victims of Bradbury's shocking and cynical abuse.

"Today's sentencing of Bradbury cannot undo the damage he caused but he is finally behind bars and is no longer a risk to vulnerable children," he said. "The lengthy sentence shows Bradbury's abhorrent betrayal and manipulation of his position as a doctor has been fully recognised."

Dr Bradbury, aged 41 years, started working at Addenbrooke's in 2008, was arrested in December 2013 and charged in September 2014.

The jail sentence was passed down today at Cambridge Crown Court.

Court records note that Dr Bradbury pleaded guilty to sexual assault, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and voyeurism, and making indecent images of children while working at the hospital.

An expert witness noted that he met the diagnosis of pedophilia.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said that the assaults happened while the boys, who were "all vulnerable and gravely ill," were "ostensibly being examined by you, a consultant pediatric hematologist.

"For a doctor to attack children in this way is one of the worst forms of sexual abuse imaginable even if it does not involve physical violence which goes beyond the abuse itself or penetrative activity," he commented.

In addition to the sexual assaults, Dr Bradbury also secretly filmed patients with a camera concealed in a pen. According to news reports from the court case, the images found on the pen camera (over 170,000) show patients partially undressed, but the images were not indecent.

However, an investigation of his home found a computer disc with 16,000 indecent images of children, as well as some moving images. The children in these images were roughly of the same age as the patients who were abused, and most were male.

"In all my years on the bench, I have never come across a more culpable and grave course of sexual criminality which has involved such a gross and grotesque breach and betrayal of your Hippocratic Oath and trust reposed in you by your patients, their families and colleagues," Judge Hawkesworth said.

The assaults on the young patients took place while their parents were in the room.

A mother of one of the victims, a 10-year-old hemophiliac who had been abused during consultations over a two-year period, spoke anonymously to a local newspaper, Cambridge News.

She said "I trusted him implicitly...he was very nice and approachable and very thorough in his work. I had no reason to suspect what was going on.

"He would do the 'examination' with the curtains closed, and I'd be right on the other side. It made me feel sick to think I had no idea what he was doing to my son behind it.

"My son thought it was just part of the examination. He didn't understand the implications.

"When it all came out I questioned him carefully about his examination and when I realised what had happened it was just the worst thing in the world," she said. The family has now moved away from the area.

During the sentence hearing, the court heard how Dr Bradbury was uncovered after a patient's grandmother realized something was wrong, the BBC reports.

During one session, the patient, a boy who was in remission from leukemia, was asked by Dr Bradbury to strip naked and touch his own genitals. The boy told his family, who reported the incident.

While police were investigating allegations, they were alerted by Canadian authorities to a purchase that Dr Bradbury had made of a DVD containing indecent images of children.

The Independent newspaper reported that Dr Bradbury was involved in church and Scout groups, and was described as "a man of great charm and persuasiveness," whom everybody trusted.

When one victim raised concerns with his mother, she responded: "He's a doctor, it must be necessary."

The newspaper also reports that Dr Bradbury's defense barrister, Angela Rafferty, said, "Clearly on a human level something has gone very badly wrong in this man's life and thought processes." She said that Dr Bradbury seemed to have repressed homosexual feelings during puberty and this influenced his behavior.

Rafferty told the court that her client recognized that what he did was "repugnant" and had never sought to justify his behavior, the BBC reports. He knows he will not get any understanding or forgiveness because what he did was unforgivable," she said.

As well as sentencing him to 22 years in jail, of which he must serve at least half, Judge Hawkesworth said that Dr Bradbury would be placed on the sex-offenders register for life and made subject of a sexual offenses prevention order for life.

He ruled also that Dr Bradbury should never work as a doctor again, and should not see his daughter unsupervised. (He recently separated from his wife and young daughter.)


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