Genital removing doctor Reeves jailed for extra 18 months

Carolyn DeWaegeneire ... victim of Graeme Reeves.
Carolyn DeWaegeneire ... victim of Graeme Reeves.
Graeme Reeves ... extra jail time.

Graeme Reeves ... extra jail time.

Former gynaecologist Graeme Reeves will serve at least an extra 18 months in jail for assaulting patients, including cutting off one woman's genitalia.

But he has also been acquitted of one charge of aggravated indecent assault.

In the Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday Chief Justice Tom Bathurst announced the extra jail time on a charge of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Carolyn DeWaegeneire, a patient who needed surgery in 2002.

When Ms DeWaegeneire had the operation at Pambula hospital on the NSW south coast on a pre-cancerous growth, Reeves cut off her external genitalia.

Reeves was sentenced on July 1, 2011 to a maximum jail term of two-and-a-half years and a minimum of one year on that charge.

That sentence was set aside and replaced with a maximum of four years and a of minimum two years. He was due for parole in May, but his earliest date of parole is now November 30, 2014.

Ms DeWaegeneire cried as she left court, recalling how the Reeves matter had affected her life.

"Don't ask me how it's affected me. It's beyond comprehension.

"I used to be loved beautifully by my beautiful French husband. What Reeves did, he took all that part of me away and it haunts me."

She said she didn't have any expectations about the outcome of the appeal, but hoped she could take a step forward.

Reeves was also sentenced for the two assaults committed while he was a gynaecologist in Bega, and for deceiving the local area health service into thinking he was still a licensed obstetrician.

He was on Thursday acquitted on one of those assault charges, and had more jail time added to another.

Less than two weeks after his original sentence NSW Attorney General Greg Smith announced the decision to appeal against the sentence, on the grounds it was "manifestly inadequate".

Reeves also appealed his conviction.

In a hearing last year, Reeves's barrister, Peter Hamill, SC, had argued prosecution under the criminal law may not be the most appropriate way of dealing with a "bad doctor".

"A doctor might be very bad and struck off or subject to a civil suit but to convict the doctor of a crime when he believes what he is doing is for the benefit of the patient - it's a step too far," Mr Hamill said.

But the Crown Prosecutor, Phillip Ingram, SC said the evidence was that Ms DeWaegeneire did not consent to such an "invasion" of her body and the case did engage the criminal law.

Mr Hamill said sentencing Reeves was difficult as most offenders found guilty of such an offence are "violent criminals".

This story Genital removing doctor Reeves jailed for extra 18 months first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.