Sunday, 29 December 2013
SYDNEY: NSW Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Hon Greg Smith, SC MP, today insulted the NSW Police Force investigation by saying ‘there’s insufficient evidence to pursue additional charges against former obstetrician and gynaecologist Graeme REEVES who was convicted of assaulting his patients’.
“He would say that, wouldn’t he?” said Lorraine Long spokeswoman for Medical Error Action Group.
“How come Attorney Greg Smith is spruiking this line that it’s a lack of evidence that’s the problem?”
“It is all about State government budget cuts in the DPP and nothing to do with weakness in the brief of evidence. It’s an insult to the victims alive and dead”, Miss Long said.
“This is not just one or two offences; it’s a multitude relating to just one doctor. Police clearly believe there’s a solid case against Reeves on these outstanding charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm, common assault, and grievous bodily harm many times over.”
Evidence Medical Error Action Group had gathered for years and presented to police was examined and investigated by them and it was the NSW Police Force “Sex Crimes Squad” that compiled the brief that was given to the DPP.
“It must be pretty galling that an action group, with extremely limited resources, can expose the facts and people involved, yet the NSW Government, with all the power, resources and expertise at its disposal, seemingly cannot.” “It is to them we look for the administration of justice”, Miss Long said.
Graeme Stephen Reeves wasn’t dubbed “the Butcher of Baulkham Hills and Bega” for no reason. The depth of his crimes and depravities has not been before the courts to be aired.
The Attorney’s comments confirm that the Reeves scandal has been unimportant to the NSW Government since it came to office in 2011. The Minister for Health Jillian Skinner, and the Minister for Disabilities Services and Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, have been ‘missing in action’.
Minister Skinner, and Minister Constance have ignored correspondence Medical Error Action Group has sent to them over the past 2½ years pertaining to Reeves matters and compensation for Reeves’ victims. “None of those letters have been acknowledged, or responded to”, said Miss Long.
“Whilst in Opposition, Jillian Skinner misled Parliament on 5 March 2008 [see Hansard: ‘Skinner Wed 5 Mar 2008 at 15:10 hours’] by denying she knew about Reeves earlier and did nothing, which explains why she hasn’t wanted to “revisit” any matters Reeves since”, Miss Long said. “But that’s not good enough as the majority of Reeves’ victims ended up with zilch, i.e. no compensation whatsoever”, Long further added. “The sums some received were insultingly paltry.”
Both Skinner and Andrew Constance knew about Reeves’ malpractice in April 2006 and allegedly July 2007 respectively, yet neither went to police nor raised Reeves’ malpractice with any Minister for Health. Now Constance wants the DPP to ‘review its decision’.
“Look what happened in the UK when regulatory authorities failed to take action against Dr Harold Shipman. He was allowed to harm and kill hundreds of patients at least before he was dealt with”, Miss Long said.
“Members of Parliament contact Medical Error Action Group with curious frequency when they’re off to hospital to make sure they don’t encounter a rogue surgeon”, Miss Long said, “but may this latest inaction serve as a warning to all MPs and the DPP that by allowing doctors to get away with their misdeeds gives them licence to not change their medical practising habits.”
“Reeves’ patients have already been let down by the government and the medical regulatory authorities, now by the DPP. Where do trusting patients ending up harmed by a rogue doctor turn to now?” Miss Long said.