A ‘wicked’ children’s doctor, believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific paedophiles, had his 22-year jail sentence cut to 16 years by three Appeal Court judges today.
The cut means Myles Bradbury, 42, formerly of Herringswell, could be out on the streets again in less than 11 years - he may only have to serve two thirds of his sentence before being considered for release.
Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Haddon-Cave and Mr Justice Goss at London’s Court of Appeal today, described Bradbury as a ‘dangerous’ man who ‘exploited and manipulated his position as a haematology consultant for his own sexual gratification’.
She said he abused ‘the most vulnerable children in his care’, and those sick children had suffered the fall out of his actions.
She agreed there was a ‘high risk’ of him offending against boys in the future.
Replacing his original sentence with a custodial element of 16 years and an additional six years on licence, she said it needed to be restructured to better punish him and offer better protection to the public.
Bradbury was only exposed by a shrewd grandmother whose grandson told her what had been happening.
He pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court in September last year to abusing 18 sick and dying boys aged between 10 and 16 at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge.
He was sentenced last September after admitting 20 offences including sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing 16,000 indecent images of young boys aged between 10 and 16.
He would fondle boys being treated for cancer and blood disorders, often with their parents behind a curtain.
He also took pictures on a hidden camera and more than 100,000 images were found when police arrested him.
Vile pornography involving young boys was also found at his home.
In mitigation, Angela Rafferty QC said Bradbury had rightly been ‘publicly vilified’ but had not been given full credit for pleading guilty and in those circumstances, she said, the sentence was just ‘too long’.
Lady Justice Hallett said Bradbury had exploited his position of trust for three and a half years before being caught and the impact of his actions had been ‘exceptionally widespread’ and his breach of trust completely unacceptable.
She said many of his victims had suffered personality changes, loss of confidence and feelings of anger and shame.
“Parents of children who have since died fear their child may have been abused,” she said, adding that the hospital had suffered and his colleagues had felt ‘guilt, anger and shame’ at not realising what had been going on.
She said: “As far as the impact of the appellant’s offending is concerned, it has been exceptionally widespread.
“The impact on the children and their parents has been devastating. Many parents blame themselves for not knowing what was going on and/or trusting the appellant.”
She said some children had suffered from clinical depression, nightmares, stress, feelings of anger and shame, and had required counselling and therapy.
She added: “Not surprisingly, some find they cannot trust doctors any more and have not sought medical attention when they should. More than one has suffered severe psychological harm.
“The reputation of the hospital has suffered, the reputation of paediatric medicine has suffered.
“Patients generally and their families who need to trust healthcare professionals may find it more difficult to do so.”
She said an inquiry into his ‘betrayal, in a bid to restore public confidence, had diverted precious resources needed to treat the sick.
She said he was dangerous, had caused serious psychological harm to his victims and needed to be punished for his ‘wicked behaviour’.
She agreed that 22 years was an ‘appropriate’ sentence and that it was right to impose consecutive sentences for the various offences.
But, in the judgment of herself and the other judges, she said the overall sentence imposed needed to be restructured to provide a ‘better way to punish the appellant and protect the public’.
The court cut Bradbury’s prison term to 16 years, with six years added as an extended licence, which means he could be recalled to prison if he re-offends on release.
She said he would serve at least two thirds of his sentence – ten years eight months – before he was considered for release.
He would previously have had to serve at least half of his original sentence.
Bradbury appeared via video link from his prison on the Isle of Wight and spoke only to confirm his name.
He is receiving treatment in prison and has been advising police on how to stop child abusers in the NHS.
Renu Daly, of Neil Hudgell solicitors, which is representing many of the victims’ families, described the doctor as a ‘prolific paedophile’ and said the families wanted a public inquiry into the abuse.
She said there was ‘disappointment’ the sentence had been cut, but the situation now was ‘much better’ because he would face far stricter criteria, which would keep the public safer for longer.
She said it had been very difficult for the families concerned - two of whom were in court.
“It was very upsetting for them, and that was quite apparent by their clear distress at seeing this man again,” she added.