A SURGEON who admitted burning his initials on to the livers of two unconscious patients during transplant operations has been hit with a £10K fine.

Simon Bramhall, of Redditch, was also sentenced to a 12-month community order at Birmingham Crown Court for assaulting two patients by burning his initials on to their livers during transplant operations.

But Worcester antiques dealer Jeff Hughes, who had two liver section operations carried out by Dr Bramhall, at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2010 and 2011, said the case should have been thrown out.

Bramhall boasted to a colleague “this is what I do” as he burned his initials on to an unconscious patient’s newly transplanted liver, prosecutors said.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he used a medical instrument called an argon beam coagulator - which seals bleeding blood vessels by directing a beam of electricity on to the area - to inscribe two patients’ livers as they were under general anaesthetic.

The 53-year-old’s actions were discovered when a botched operation meant one of his patients had to have more surgery a week later, leading a different surgeon to spot the initials.

Judge Paul Farrer QC, said: “Both of the (transplant) operations were long and difficult. I accept that on both occasions you were tired and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgment. This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour.

“What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you.

“I accept that you didn’t intend or foresee anything but the most trivial of harm would be caused.”

Bramhall was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital said in a statement: “The Trust is clear that Mr Bramhall made a mistake in the context of a complex clinical situation and this has been dealt with via the appropriate authorities, including the Trust as his then employer.

“We can reassure his patients that there was no impact whatsoever on the quality of his clinical outcomes.”

Bramhall admitted two counts of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court in December after denying the more serious charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Frank Ferguson, head of special crime at the CPS, said Bramhall was a “very respected” surgeon to whom many patients owed their lives.

But asked about the doctor’s motive, he said: “I can’t speak in terms of why he did that. Clearly he did not anticipate that it would be seen, I would suggest, but there was further surgery and he may not have understood how long it was likely to last.

“There was medical evidence about that that it may have lasted up to a couple of months in the way that a minor burn might do on external skin.

“He accepted what he was doing was arrogant.

He said the victim who had been identified in the “unique” case had suffered minor physical injury and psychological harm.

“There was a very profound impact on that person in terms of distress caused by what happened, the psychological impact,” Mr Ferguson said.

“There was physical damage, some physical harm to the liver, although that’s minor in terms of cell damage but it would be akin to a minor external burn.

“The first point is it’s a crime and the second point is the aggravating features are that it was very vulnerable victims, in the sense there is no greater trust than the trust which a patient places in a surgeon when they are having an operation.

He added he did not anticipate any further charges and there was no evidence Bramhall’s colleagues covered up his actions.

He said: “As far as we know it’s a unique case in terms of the facts and demonstrates really the vulnerability of patients and the degree of trust they place in their surgeons when they are having an operation and the importance that that trust is protected and respected by doctors.”

Speaking on the fine and community order, Mr Hughes said: “He should never have been fined. I think it should have been thrown out.

“I know £10,000 is not much to him and I am sure he (Bramhall) is relieved it is over, but it should never have gone to court, it should have been dealt with in-house.”