Dr Myles Bradbury: Why was paedophile doctor not stopped?

Published November 10, 2014 by JS2

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For his patients and their parents he was a “God-like” figure. In reality, hospital doctor Myles Bradbury was a paedophile who filmed his abuse. How did he get away with it for so long and why wasn’t he caught sooner?

In July 2012, the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) – which is meant to protect against child abuse – received a list of 2,235 names.

It was sent by police in Canada following a raid on the headquarters of Avoz Films, a website selling what it referred to as “just legal” and “naturist” films.

Myles Bradbury, a paediatric consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, was on that list because he had bought a film from them while working in Birmingham in 2005.

CEOP – which Toronto Police say were once leaders in the field – took no action for 16 months.

Action against Bradbury – who went on to admit 25 sex offences against patients and making thousands of indecent images of children from the internet – only started when the Canadians announced they were going public about their investigation, named Project Spade.

That no action was taken in the UK for more than a year has stunned police in Toronto. This, despite repeated calls from Toronto to London last November to find out what was happening.

Det Sgt Kim Gross, who is in charge of the child exploitation team in Toronto, claims CEOP – which now comes under the National Crime Agency (NCA) – “dropped the ball”.

“If I had failed that badly I would walk away from the work and have someone replace me,” she told BBC Inside Out East.

Det Sgt Gross says the checklist is simple.

“Number one – we will look to see if they have access to children.

“Then their occupation. Do they have access to other children? Are they parents? Are they involved in organisations that service children?”

Three stages of Myles Bradbury
Bradbury days before his arrest last November (left), his police mug shot in December 2013 (centre) and arriving at Cambridge Crown Court charged with child sex offences in September this year

Such simple checks would have revealed the 41-year-old was not only a doctor but a doctor who treated children with cancer.

Yet between July 2012 and November last year, Bradbury – who will be sentenced next month – was free to carry on abusing cancer patients – sometimes while their parents sat in ignorance on the other side of a hospital curtain.

The NCA has declined the BBC’s requests for an interview on the case.

On the same day that Suffolk Police were finally informed, via West Midlands Police, about Bradbury, Addenbrooke’s Hospital suspended the doctor following a family complaint about an intimate examination of a child.

Bradbury’s wife was pregnant at the time.

Suffolk Police’s investigation into Bradbury, who lived in Herringswell, Suffolk, revealed the devious steps he had taken to cover his tracks.

The pen used by Myles Bradbury
The pen used by Bradbury also had a small camera just above the clip and could be plugged into a computer to download the footage

The truth which unfolded was a far cry from the doctor in whom hundreds of families had placed their trust.

“I have heard some parents describe him as a God-like figure,” said Det Supt Gary Ridgway, of Cambridgeshire police.

A victim’s account of an examination by Dr Bradbury

stethoscope

“He would ask to get me in the room on my own, and say I’m old enough to go in a room on my own.

“And then he’d want to check me

“Instead of checking just my joints, he’d want to check my whole body.

“He’d make me strip down

“He focussed on my private parts.”

“But what the police service teaches you is that you can’t allow your own assumptions or stereotypes to get in the way of the facts,” he said.

“And very quickly, within a few days, we had a number of young people describing events to us that were clearly criminal and needed some quick action.”

Bradbury would fix appointments when his colleagues were not around.

One of Bradbury’s primary tools of abuse was a pen.

But it was no ordinary writing implement. This one contained a hidden video camera which Dr Bradbury used to film young patients during unnecessary intimate examinations.

One father has told the BBC he remembered Dr Bradbury using a similar looking pen when examining his young son.

Two spy pens were found when police searched his home.

“And I soon became very suspicious that things weren’t right,” said Det Sgt John Ling, of Suffolk police.

The scene at Thetford tipA needle in a haystack – Suffolk Police trawled through rubbish to find Bradbury’s laptop computer

A computer disc was found in an annexe at the back of the garden and when police asked about a laptop, Bradbury’s wife said it had been thrown away two weeks previously. Its disposal coincided with his suspension from Addenbrooke’s.

Undeterred, police went first to the tip at Mildenhall and then, after learning that waste had since been taken to Thetford in Norfolk, they went there to search.

It was, says Det Sgt Ling, like hunting a “needle in a haystack.

But sifting through the rubbish from an emptied container on a cold December morning, the officers found that snakeskin-covered laptop computer.

“Unfortunately,” said Det Sgt Ling, “the hard drive had been removed from the laptop.”

It has never been found.

The disc in the annexe was found to contain more than 16,000 images of abuse which included the most serious classification of sexual abuse against children.

A disc found in a garden annexe contained some of the most serious examples of sex abuse against children, police sayA disc found in a garden annexe contained some of the most serious examples of sex abuse against children, police say

One of the two pens found did not work. The other, says Det Sgt Ling, contained “an examination of a young boy”.

But herein lies the biggest question – how many boys were secretly filmed by Bradbury?

That question troubles Det Sgt Ling, because every film made using the spy pen would have had to have been transferred to a computer to view it. So what was on that missing hard drive?

Bradbury, who portrayed himself as a devout Christian, has offered no clues. He gave “no comment” responses throughout his police interviews.

“I don’t know how many examinations he’s done,” says Det Sgt Ling. “So I don’t know how many possible cases there are of live abuse by him.

“So how many movies of examinations were on that hard drive we’ll never know.”

A report by Sally Chidzoy and Julian Sturdy will be shown on Inside Out East on 10 November on BBC One at 19:30 GMT and on iPlayer afterwards.

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