James Latham Peters
James Latham Peters

Evil doc says infecting women with Hep C ‘not serious’

EVIL anaesthetist James Latham Peters has failed in a bid to overturn his conviction for infecting 55 female patients with hepatitis C.

Peters was jailed in 2012 after pleading guilty to 55 charges of negligently causing serious injury over his depraved offending, which was fuelled by his own drug addiction.

He was addicted to the narcotic painkiller fentanyl, injecting himself with it.

He then re-used the syringes when administering anaesthetic to women attending the Croydon Day Surgery for abortions.

The infections occurred between June 2008, and November 2009.

Peters unsuccusefully appealed his 14-year maximum jail term in 2013, with the Court of Appeal dismissing his case.

James Latham Peters pleaded guilty to infecting women with Hep C at an abortion clinic.
James Latham Peters pleaded guilty to infecting women with Hep C at an abortion clinic.

Today, the court refused him a second shot at appealing.

Peters sought leave to appeal on two bases: first, that infection with hepatitis C virus did not constitute a 'serious injury' and secondly that there was now fresh evidence of new treatments for hepatitis C with a close to 100 per cent success rate.

However Court of Appeal president Chris Maxwell, and Justices Stephen Kaye and Stephen McLeish ruled infecting a person with a disease constituted the causing of injury, irrespective of whether physical symptoms had been manifested.

"That some of the victims will not develop symptoms does not alter the fact that, when they were infected, they suffered injury," they said in a summary judgment handed down today.

"Seriousness of an injury is to be assessed at the time of injury, by reference to the seriousness of the potential consequences."

Peters had told the Medical Practitioners' Board of Victoria of his drug problem in 1995, but he kept secret his positive hepatitis C status.

His registration was suspended for a year from May 1996, and he remained under the board's supervision until February, 2010, when he was deregistered.