On 1 December 2014, Myles Bradbury spent his first night behind bars knowing that he has been sentenced to 22 years in prison. For many families the sentence passed down by Judge Gareth Hawkesworth accurately reflected not only the assaults that he subjected his patients to but the gross abuse of the trust they placed in to him, expecting him to heal their vulnerable and very poorly children.
But what now for Bradbury’s former patients and their families?
Families’ Response to Myles Bradbury’s Sentence
Families that Bolt Burdon Kemp are acting for, and families who attended the sentencing hearing on the 1 December 2014, expressed their relief that Bradbury is now behind bars for a substantial amount of time and their relief that this chapter has now closed for them. However, this is just the close of a chapter. For most patients and their families the next step is to look forward, try and rebuild the trust that has been lost through Bradbury’s actions and examine the impact that his actions have had upon them.
Some families outside court spoke of the mixed feelings they are currently experiencing. On the one hand, Bradbury worked diligently to try and save the lives of the children in his care. On the other, he used his position to abuse the most vulnerable – seriously ill children.
Moving Forward from the Abuse
What can be done to try and help Bradbury’s former patients who have been affected by the abuse? It is open to the patients and their families to bring a claim for compensation from Addenbrookes Hospital which would include damages for therapy.
It is likely that the psychological consequences of Bradbury’s actions will linger with his former patients and their families for some time, if not for life. However, it may be that therapy will be able to allow former patients to work through the feelings of confusion, guilt and anger that they may be feeling.
It may also be possible to include a claim for loss of earnings if it can be established that the assaults Bradbury subjected his patients to have had an impact on their education.
Bradbury’s Abuse – Not Medical Negligence
The abuse Bradbury subjected some of his patients to was not clinical negligence. This was not a mistake made in the course of looking after the children in his care. This was a “prolonged, carefully planned, cruel and persistent campaign of abuse” which amounts to assaults carried out upon his former patients. There was no negligence associated with his actions. The law which will apply to any claim brought will not be based on negligence. Instead, these claims will be based on the notion that Bradbury’s actions were deliberate acts of assault upon his former patients, who placed their trust completely in him.
It is important that those seeking legal advice seek it from the right individuals – solicitors who represent victims of child abuse every day and are used to bringing claims for sexual abuse on a daily basis.