Paediatric haematologist sexually abuses his patients at Addenbrookes Hospital 15 Sep 2014

It has recently been reported in the press that Dr Myles Bradbury a 41 year old Paediatric Haematologist at Addenbrookes Hospital has pleaded guilty to sexual offences against children, his patients who placed their trust in him to treat their medical conditions.

Dr Bradbury has pleaded guilty to 7 counts of sexual assault and 12 counts of engaging in sexual activity with children. It is absolutely disgraceful that this doctor, in a position of trust carried out such terrible acts for his own sexual gratification. Apparently he carried out the abuse on his patients and on one occasion filmed himself doing so. He carried out examinations on his patients that were often not necessary so that he could have physical contact with each patient. He was able to take advantage of his patients who were often vulnerable and he also apparently, groomed his colleagues so as to hide his heinous crimes.

Dr Bradbury’s victims were 18 children aged between 8 – 17 years of age and the abuse took place from 2009 until he was the subject of a complaint in 2013. Following the complaint from one of his patients he was suspended from the NHS Trust and was thereafter arrested and charged by the police. He will have to sign the Sex Offenders Register and he is likely to receive a ‘substantial custodial sentence’, although a sentencing date has yet to be released.

It is quite clear that Dr Bradbury significantly abused the trust of his patients, his manipulative behaviour led to the abuse going undetected for 4 years and there is also the risk that he may have abused other patients prior to 2009 when he was working in Birmingham.

To sexually abuse a child is something that many of us fail to understand or comprehend but to abuse a child who is undergoing treatment in hospital and is more vulnerable because of his/her illness is beyond words. The parents of the abused children not only have to grapple with trust issues but also medical issues relating to their children. It is unlikely that they will be able to trust a doctor to treat their child again and this may have a detrimental affect on their child’s wellbeing and long term health.

The NHS Trust will have to grapple with Dr Bradbury’s behaviour over the years and they will have to find a way to reassure the parents of the abused children that these children will receive safe medical care in the future. It is complex and challenging for all parties concerned. It eerily reminds us all of the abuse at Stoke Mandeville and the patients who were sexually abused at the hands of Jimmy Savile.

Children should be safe at all times and especially when they are already vulnerable because they require medical treatment/care. Child abusers should be prevented from having access to children and I would suggest that it is unusual for a child to be examined by a doctor without a parent or guardian present in the room at the time of the examination. Dr Bradbury’s manipulative behaviour towards each parent and their child allowed him to see the child on his own. It can only be assumed that a nurse was not in the room at the time of the abuse and that again this was down to Dr Bradbury’s manipulation of the staff and patients.

If you wish to seek advice on any of the issues referred to above, please do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Prior, specialist child abuse lawyer by email stephanieprior@osbornes.net

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