Ian Paterson victim says she still 'hates' disgraced surgeon
A victim of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson has said the approval of a £37 million compensation plan is 'a step forward'.
But Frances Perks said her hatred for the 59-year-old Paterson remains undiminished – and she is still struggling to come to terms with what happened to her.
A High Court judge yesterday backed the compensation plan for victims treated by Paterson in private hospitals.
And Mrs Justice Whipple paid tribute to the 'resilience' of hundreds of patients who suffered at the hands of the rogue surgeon.
Among Paterson's victims were Mrs Perks, from Burntwood, and Leanne Joseph from Cheslyn Hay.
Mrs Perks, 59, had 10 unnecessary operations carried out on her by Paterson.
She said: "I've made clear for a long time what I feel towards Ian Paterson – I hate him, for what he's done to me and the rest of us.
"It's had an enormous effect on my life and my family's life. But at least it's coming to an end.
"I'm never going to be able to totally forget it because I've got the scars, and I see them every day.
"But now he's tucked away in prison and with us getting compensation at least things are moving forward.
"We've got to try to put some closure on it, but it's difficult."
Mrs Perks told the Express & Star Paterson's refusal to accept his guilt put the victims through emotional torment – and prolonged a difficult situation for five years.
One positive from that period is Mrs Perks' friendship with other patients treated by Paterson.
She said: "I've become a close friend of Patricia Welch who is one of the other patients and obviously with a few others as well.
"Out of all this chaos at least I've got a very good friend out of it.
"We've supported one another and will remain friends for ever more.
"But the last five years overall have been dreadful."
Mrs Justice Whipple said yesterday: "He was their doctor, their surgeon, and they trusted him. He betrayed that trust.
"The physical pain and emotional anguish they have suffered in consequence cannot be understated.
"I pay tribute to their resilience in the face of such adversity."
She added: "The damages which the claimants will now receive from this settlement will not eradicate the wrong done to them.
"Nor, I suspect, can the claimants simply move on as if nothing had happened – the consequences of Mr Paterson's mistreatment will remain with them for years into the future.
"But I hope that the money they will receive under this settlement will go some way towards making their lives easier. I wish them all the very best."
Mrs Justice Whipple was speaking as she approved a settlement reached in a damages action brought on behalf of former private patients against a number of defendants, including Paterson, who carried out unnecessary breast operations, leaving victims scarred and disfigured.
The approval proceedings in London yesterday formally ended the litigation which was due to go to a lengthy trial next month.
Paterson, 59, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, who is now serving a 20-year sentence, was convicted by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against 10 private patients.
News of the £37 million fund came earlier this month. It was announced that Spire Healthcare, which runs private hospitals in the West Midlands where Paterson worked, will contribute £27.2 million to the total.
A further £10 million is to be provided by Paterson's insurers and his former employers, the Heart of England NHS Trust (HEFT).
Around 750 private patients treated by Paterson will get a payout from the sum, which also makes provision for other claims.