Daily Express

Chances of death charges ‘remote’

- By Hanna Geissler Health Editor

MANY of those responsibl­e for the “pervasive cover-up” will never be held to account because of the slow response to the infected blood scandal, victims have said.

Lawyers told them and their families the chances of corporate manslaught­er charges were “extremely remote”.

Criminal barrister Clive Smith, chairman of The Haemophili­a Society, said: “There are doctors who should have been prosecuted for manslaught­er, gross negligence manslaught­er, doctors who were testing their patients for HIV without consent, not telling them about their infections.

“Those people should have been in the dock for gross negligence manslaught­er. Sadly, because of the delay, so many people will not see justice as a result.”

Mark Ward, 55, was born with severe haemophili­a and contracted HIV and hepatitis C from contaminat­ed blood products.

He said: “Prosecutio­ns have to now happen because the people who were responsibl­e to care for the nation really failed so significan­tly and so many lives were lost unnecessar­ily.

“They can’t be allowed to just walk by, go ‘Yeah, nice report’. There has to be justice.”

He also said the findings vindicate victims like him after years of terrible treatment.

Cover-up

Mr Ward added: “I’ve gone from being a troublemak­er and conspiracy theorist and a liar to having a High Court judge say, ‘You were right’. All those people out there on the wrong side of history, I shall be waiting for their apologies.”

Andy Evans, of campaign group Tainted Blood, said of the report’s references to a cover-up: “We have been gaslit for generation­s. This report today brings an end to that.” Former IT consultant Rosamund Cooper, 50, said the cover-ups were “disgracefu­l” and showed that victims had been lied to.

She was diagnosed with Von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder, when she was eight months old, and found out she had been infected with hepatitis C at 19.

Ms Cooper said: “One of the key things is the complete lack of transparen­cy, the lack of candour, the lack of people taking account for actions that have harmed people.

“Decisions were made, people were harmed, but that was not accepted, that was hidden.

“We were lied to about that – we were told it was accidental.

“All of my life as an infected person has been spent battling and I’m exhausted, and I feel like this, finally, is somebody listening to what we’ve been through.”

Roger Newman, another severe haemophili­ac, was given tainted blood clotting protein Factor VIII from the age of seven.

He was later diagnosed with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV and variant CJD. Mr Newman, 56, told the BBC he could remember “feeling dirty” as a young schoolboy when he was told not to share drinks or cutlery with other children.

He added of the years after his HIV diagnosis aged 16: “It was a

horrendous time of fear, of stigma, of discrimina­tion and living with this dread of dying of Aids.

“People around me, other haemophili­acs, were getting ill very quickly, and just never knowing when it might be my time. It’s horrendous the amount of abuse done towards us from the state. For decades we have been feeling totally powerless against the Government and speaking up, speaking out.

“Finally, we feel like our voices have been heard and the truth is now going to be presented.”

The Hepatitis C Trust called the report findings “shocking” and said it revealed much more could have been done to prevent hepatitis C and HIV infections from blood and blood products.

The charity said: “Over decades, instead of protecting people, the Government and the health system sought to delay, defer and hide the truth from people they’d harmed.

“They must now take full responsibi­lity.We urge the Government to stop its endless delays and to act.

“Already 3,000 people did not live to see this day, and time remains of the essence.”

Jason Evans started the Factor 8 campaign group in 2016. His father died after being infected with HIV and hepatitis C due to the Factor VIII blood product.

Mr Evans, from Coventry, said the report meant the “fight for truth is over” but that “no amount of truth” could help those who had emotional and physical trauma.

The key finding of the report is commercial Factor VIII should “never have been licensed”, and that if that had been the case, his father would still be alive, Mr Evans said.

He added: “Whilst today brings an end to that search for answers, the physical damage is done.”

Sadness

Des Collins, of Collins Solicitors, which represents 1,500 victims, said his clients would be feeling “overwhelmi­ng sadness”.

He added: “Despite the fact they’ve got it over the line, it’s taken so many people to be injured, so many people to die.”

 ?? ?? DAD-OF-TWO Peter MacRae died with Aids
TRANSFUSIO­N infected Paul David Le Bourn
HIV victim dad Bob Threakall died at 47
MARIE Cromie died in July last year
MUM Barbara Palmer got HIV and died
CONTAMINAT­ED blood killed Jonathan Evans
RICHARD Martindale died aged 23 in 1990
HERO Seamus Conway had a blood infection
HEPATITIS claimed Randolph Gordon-Smith
FATHER Paul Summers was not told of HIV
VARIANT CJD klled Mark Buckland
YOUNG Nicky Calder died in 1999 at 25
INFECTION impacted Martin Reid’s health
TRELOAR pupil Jason Peach lost his battle
TRAGIC Mark Payton was 41 when he died
DAD-OF-TWO Peter MacRae died with Aids TRANSFUSIO­N infected Paul David Le Bourn HIV victim dad Bob Threakall died at 47 MARIE Cromie died in July last year MUM Barbara Palmer got HIV and died CONTAMINAT­ED blood killed Jonathan Evans RICHARD Martindale died aged 23 in 1990 HERO Seamus Conway had a blood infection HEPATITIS claimed Randolph Gordon-Smith FATHER Paul Summers was not told of HIV VARIANT CJD klled Mark Buckland YOUNG Nicky Calder died in 1999 at 25 INFECTION impacted Martin Reid’s health TRELOAR pupil Jason Peach lost his battle TRAGIC Mark Payton was 41 when he died
 ?? ?? DAD Richard Lowry died in 2011
BROTHER Leigh Peach also went to Treloar
ADE Goodyear survived being given Factor VIII
NEIL Kerr died with HIV and hepatitis C
DANIEL Madden, died in 1992, aged just 20
SIMON Cummings got HIV and died aged 38
ALISTAIR Bennett died aged 22 from Aids
GRAHAM Ingleson was killed by Aids
NEIL King died with HIV and hepatitis C
GERAINT Jones died after blood transfusio­n
LEE Turton, 10, died after contractin­g HIV
SEVEN-year-old Colin Smith died in 1990
SUE Hollywood and son Anthony both died
JEFFREY Frame was given HIV and died
CORRINE Cobbledick, a mum, died in 1993
DAD Richard Lowry died in 2011 BROTHER Leigh Peach also went to Treloar ADE Goodyear survived being given Factor VIII NEIL Kerr died with HIV and hepatitis C DANIEL Madden, died in 1992, aged just 20 SIMON Cummings got HIV and died aged 38 ALISTAIR Bennett died aged 22 from Aids GRAHAM Ingleson was killed by Aids NEIL King died with HIV and hepatitis C GERAINT Jones died after blood transfusio­n LEE Turton, 10, died after contractin­g HIV SEVEN-year-old Colin Smith died in 1990 SUE Hollywood and son Anthony both died JEFFREY Frame was given HIV and died CORRINE Cobbledick, a mum, died in 1993

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom