Children’s doctor Myles Bradbury is jailed for 22 years after admitting to the abuse of 18 boys in his care and taking thousands of pictures of gravely ill children on his spy pen.
The judge described the abuse committed by Bradbury as “one of the worst forms of sexual abuse imaginable”.
Cambridge crown court heard the 41-year-old carried out medical examinations on boys “purely for his own sexual gratification”.
All of the victims suffered from leukaemia, haemophilia or other serious conditions. Some have since died.
One of the worst forms of sexual abuse imaginable Judge Gareth Hawkesworth
He abused some boys behind a curtain while their parents were in the room.
The 41-year-old, from Herringswell, Suffolk, worked as a paediatric consultant haematologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
‘Gravely ill’ boys
He pleaded guilty to 25 offences, including sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images, against boys aged between 10 and 16.
Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said Bradbury’s sentence would be reduced because of his early guilty plea.
But the judge said “some might observe” that the overwhelming evidence against him meant he had little choice but to admit the offences.
Something has gone very badly wrong in this man’s life and thought processesDefending counsel Angela Rafferty
He described Bradbury as “manipulative”, adding: “For a doctor to attack children in this way is one of the worst forms of sexual abuse imaginable.”
“These boys were all vulnerable and gravely ill,” the judge said.
“In all my years on the bench, I have never come across such a grotesque betrayal of your Hippocratic oath.
“There are almost too many aggravating factors to list in your prolonged carefully, planned and cruel abuse.
“It is implicit in what you did for your own sexual gratification that you were targeting the most vulnerable, sick children.”
The judge said he had no doubt Bradbury had caused “serious psychological” harm to his victims and there was a risk he would do so in future – but he said the doctor’s recognition of his deviancy meant the risk could be managed.
The offences took place over four and a half years, the first within six months of him taking up his post in 2008. They continued to the day he was suspended when the first concerns were raised.
Police found 170,425 images of partially clothed boys on this pen but none of these was classed as indecent.
Prosecutor John Farmer said Bradbury was first arrested in December 2013 after police were alerted by Canadian authorities that he may have bought a DVD containing indecent images of children as part of Operation Spade.
Cambridgeshire Police were already investigating Mr Bradbury after concerns were raised about his conduct. But questions have been raised about why it took so long for Bradbury to be arrested, 16 months after concerns had been raised with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
What he did was unforgivableDefending counsel Angela Rafferty
The court heard Mr Bradbury was also involved in church and Scout groups, and was described as “a man of great charm and persuasiveness” whom everybody trusted.
When one victim raised concerns with his mother, she responded: “He’s a doctor, it must be necessary.”
In mitigation, defending counsel Angela Rafferty said Mr Bradbury’s guilty pleas had spared his victims the ordeal of giving evidence in court.
She added: “Clearly on a human level something has gone very badly wrong in this man’s life and thought processes.”
She said Bradbury seemed to have repressed homosexual feelings during puberty and this influenced his behaviour.
Ms Rafferty added that he accepted what he did was “repugnant”.
She said: “He knows he will not get any understanding or forgiveness because what he did was unforgivable.”