A paedophile who sexually assaulted young cancer patients has been jailed for 22 years.

Doctor Myles Bradbury has admitted to abusing 18 of the patients under his care at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, between 2009 and 2013.

Bradbury admitted to 25 offences against his 18 victims. These charges include; sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images. After admitting to these crimes the judge, Gareth Hawkesworth, told him the offenses were, “a gross and grotesque breach of trust”.

Judge Hawkesworth would go on to say, “In many years’ experience on the bench, I have never come across a more culpable or grave course of sexual criminality which has involved such a gross and grotesque breach and betrayal of your Hippocratic Oath and trust reposed in you by your patients, their families and colleagues.” The crimes committed by Dr Bradbury, the judge said were a “prolonged, carefully planned, cruel and persistent campaign of abuse”

The judge also stated that he was in “no doubt” that the victims would suffer long term effects from this crime and that Bradbury was at a risk of causing more psychological damage in the future.

One of the victims of this abuse, appearing via video and anonymously, when speaking of the examinations given by Bradbury said, “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 focused on my private parts.” With testimony similar to this from those victims who were brave and spoke against Dr Bradbury the writing was on the wall.

An item of this story which appears all the more tragic in the light of the abuses continuing until his capture, the Canadian authorities had alerted the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in July 2012 that Bradbury had bought a DVD which contained indecent images of children. The information was not passed along until November of last year. The tragedy here appears to be that although not all of his patients would have been saved this horror, some may have been.

In September Bradbury pled guilty to six counts of sexual assault and 13 counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child. He would also add that he had encouraged some of the children under his care to perform sexual acts leading to him being charged with inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, along with one count of voyeurism and two counts of making indecent images of a child.

The hospital’s chief executive, Dr Keith McNeil, said, the “sentencing of Bradbury cannot undo the damage he caused but he is finally behind bars and is no longer a risk to vulnerable children. The lengthy sentence shows Bradbury’s abhorrent betrayal and manipulation of his position as a doctor has been fully recognised.”

Michelle Brown, head of the CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit would add her own points saying, “This paedophile doctor took advantage of his young patients battling serious illness by systematically sexually abusing them. Such cruelty is unimaginable to most of us.”

The most telling quotes of the day however, come from the families of the abused. One such family said “We’re very happy… it may be over for him but it’s not for us.” That is the simple truth of these cases. I wrote recently that if a child is sexually assaulted the man responsible deserves to be thrown away and the key lost, this is one such case. The fact that a man in a position of such power, who is supposed to care of these sick children has maybe forever changed them. Those children will carry with them for the rest of their lives what has been done to them.

Bradbury will spend at least the next 11 years in prison before he is even eligible to be released. I hope that in that time the children of this abuse can heal. I hope they can put the pieces of themselves back together after this unimaginable cruelty has been committed against them.