A SURGEON who signed his initials on the livers of patients during surgery has arrived at court for sentencing.
Simon Bramhall, 53, admitted two counts of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court but pleaded not guilty to alternative charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
During last month's hearing, Bramhall pleaded guilty to assaulting a patient whose name is protected by a court order during an operation in August 2013.
He also entered a guilty plea relating to an operation performed on an unknown patient in February of the same year.
Bramhall, of Redditch, Worcs, worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for 12 years before he quit.
Addressing the court after the pleas, Mr Badenoch said: "This has been a highly unusual and complex case, both within the expert medical testimony served by both sides and in law.
"It is factually, so far as we have been able to establish, without legal precedent in criminal law."
The barrister added that Bramhall was employed as a consultant surgeon in Birmingham at the time of the transplant operations and that both patients had been under anaesthetic.
"The pleas of guilty now entered represent an acceptance that that which he did was not just ethically wrong but criminally wrong," Mr Badenoch told the court.
"They reflect the fact that Dr Bramhall's initialling on a patient's liver was not an isolated incident but rather a repeated act on two occasions, requiring some skill and concentration. It was done in the presence of colleagues."
After Bramhall's pleas were entered, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said the Crown accepted the medic's not guilty pleas in a case which was "without legal precedent in criminal law".
The surgeon, originally from Tarrington, Herefordshire, had previously denied any wrongdoing.
Liver surgeons use an argon beam to stop livers bleeding, but can also use it to burn the surface of the liver to sketch out the area of an operation.
It is usually not harmful and the marks would normally disappear but the woman in question's liver did not heal itself in the normal manner and the initials were found in a follow-up operation, it is alleged.
Bramhall was also involved in tutoring and examining medical students and supervising postgraduate students in higher degrees, management and research.
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