Doctor Myles Bradbury admitted abusing boys with cancer
The parents of a boy who was sexually abused by a paedophile doctor have strongly criticised a hospital for failing to protect their son.
Myles Bradbury, 41, of Herringswell, Suffolk, abused boys in his care while working at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, between 2009 and 2013.
One of his 18 victims, in an exclusive BBC interview, said the knowledge he was abused made him “feel sick”.
The boy’s father has called for a government inquiry into the crimes.
The boy, now a teenager, and his parents are the first of Bradbury’s victims to speak to the media.
Bradbury is currently on bail awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to 25 offences against 18 boys, including sexual assault and making more than 16,000 indecent images.
A blood cancer specialist, he had worked at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for five years.
The boy’s mother said: “If you want to work as a dinner lady you have to have a check done to see if you’re harmful to children.
“This doctor has got away with it and so much more could have been done, and should’ve been done.”
His father said: “These kids should have been looked after from day one, the hospital should have looked after these kids and offered counselling for them, and as of yet that hasn’t come forward, I’m afraid.
“I think they’ve handled it quite poorly to be fair. We’ve been told to contact the NSPCC – a charity.”
Keith McNeil, chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals, which runs Addenbrooke’s, said: “As I have previously expressed, Dr Bradbury’s abuse has shocked and saddened everyone who works at the Trust.
“As chief executive, I would like to again offer my sincere apologies to the patients and families affected. The team here at the trust is working hard to offer support to our patients and families, and will be responsive and flexible as to how we do this to best meet their needs on an individual basis.”
“I would urge any patients or their families who require support or have concerns to stay in touch with the team here, and we will do everything we can to support them.”
Both parents have expressed concerns that Bradbury had worked at a number of other hospitals across England, and said they feared there were other children who might have been abused.
“The government needs to do a full inquiry into Myles Bradbury to look at where he’s been working and seeing what he’s been up to,” the boy’s father said.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We await the outcome of the urgent investigations already under way at Addenbrooke’s and expect that all findings will be acted on quickly, so that everything possible is done to avoid appalling crimes like this happening again.”
Speaking about his hospital appointments with Bradbury, the boy said: “Me and Myles used to get on quite well, he would be quite chatty, I didn’t really mind going to hospital to see him that much.”
He said he felt “quite comfortable” with the doctor: “You felt you knew him.”
However, as he got older, the boy said things changed.
Bradbury was a paediatric haematologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge
“I got to an age where I started going in on my own and I had to get checked regularly, which I thought was a normal thing. That’s when I started feeling a bit uncomfortable.
“I don’t know why he felt the need to check my genital place every time,” he said.
“I just thought it was just normal… I didn’t know any better.”
He said he did not mention the examinations to his parents for that reason.
The boy’s parents said at first they found Bradbury a “charming, very nice man”.
“We thought he was there to give our son the best treatment possible,” his father said.
Bradbury was suspended from Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he was working as a paediatric haematologist, after a complaint about his behaviour in November last year. He was arrested in December.
“When we got the phone call to say that this was going on I was just utterly shocked by it,” the boy’s mother said.
“It’s the most shocking thing. You take your child to the hospital to be checked over medically, and you don’t expect him to be abused by a very highly thought-of paediatric doctor.”
The boy’s father said they always asked their son what had happened when Bradbury had examined him alone, but added: “He didn’t say a lot.
“I had inklings before and I asked him what had happened, and he sort of brushed it under the carpet,” he said.
“You know, you just think, ‘I wish you’d told me at the time because we could have done something about it’.
Miles Bradbury timeline
1996: Graduated with an MB ChB degree from the University of Birmingham in 1996
2004 to 2008: Temporarily employed as a registrar between 2004 and 2007 at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and then as a consultant
November 2008: Began working at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Was the clinical trials lead for paediatric haematology and oncology. Also held clinics four times a year at hospitals in Colchester and Ipswich between 2008 and 2013
July 2012: CEOP alerted to Bradbury buying suspect videos off the internet
27 November 2013: Information shared with Suffolk Police – the same day the first complaint about Bradbury’s behaviour was reported to Addenbrooke’s. He was subsequently suspended from the hospital. An investigation is under way to find out why the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) took 16 months to share suspicions about Bradbury with police
18 December 2013: Police arrest Bradbury
15 September 2014: Bradbury admits abusing patients
18 September 2014: The National Crime Agency, which took over CEOP, refers its handling of information about Bradbury and other potential paedophiles to the Independent Police Complaints Commission
“Obviously he was so embarrassed about it he didn’t know what to do. No other doctor had treated him like that.”
Both parents are critical of the hospital, saying someone there should have had an “inkling” about Bradbury’s activities.
“I think more should have been done,” the boy’s mother said.
The family, they said, were trying to come to terms with their trusted doctor’s abuse of their son, but his mother said she felt “a lot of guilt”.
“The guilt is still there, that how could I have let that happen to my boy? What had happened was just totally devastating.
“I’ll never forgive him,” she said.
The boy’s father added: “I really feel that I’ve let my boy down… I will always have that in my mind for the rest of my days.”
Their son said he hoped that once Bradbury was sentenced he would be able to move on with his own life.
“I don’t know how to cope with it all to be fair. Hopefully, once I get some help it will be done and over, and I won’t have to think about it ever again.
“It’s always playing on the back of my mind and it makes me a bit sick really to think what he was doing was wrong,” he said.
“He was doing it for himself, not for my health.”