A breast cancer surgeon currently on trial for 20 counts of wounding with intent at Nottingham Crown Court, has denied verbally abusing a witness as she was called to the stand. 

Ian Paterson, 59, who is accused of performing unnecessary operations to boost his reputation and income, was asked by prosecutors if he had directed abusive language at a woman giving evidence against him. He denied the claims, saying “No. Why would I use language like that about a patient?”. He added, “I said that I thought she wasn’t telling the truth.” 

Mr Paterson also denies calling the 10 alleged victims “liars”, but rather over time, he believes their memories have become confused. 

The witness in question was among nine women and one man allegedly needlessly operated on by Mr Paterson between 1997 and 2011. He performed three surgical procedures on the woman, including a mastectomy on her right breast and proceeded with two procedures before waiting for the results of a specialist breast pathologist report, which did not recommend surgery. He denies carrying out a “completely unnecessary, uncalled-for operation” on the woman. 

When questioned about his knowledge of the 2005 British Association of Surgical Oncology (BASO) professional surgical guidelines, he noted that he was “familiar” with them, but said: “In broad, yes, we tend to follow them, but they’re not rules or laws, written in stone.” 

Mr Paterson added that while these guidelines are “entirely appropriate” for most patients, they were not always a perfect fit. 

The surgeon, who was employed by the Heart of England NHS Trust and practised at a number of Spire Healthcare hospitals in the West Midlands between 1994 and 2011, denies all charges. 

The trial continues.

Thompsons Solicitors is representing many of Paterson’s patients in civil cases.