A breast surgeon who performed needless operations on patients has been jailed for 15 years.
Ian Paterson lied to patients and exaggerated or invented their risk of cancer to convince them to go under the knife.
Many of his victims claim they have been left “disfigured” and “mutilated”.
One patient looked like a “car crash victim” after undergoing an unnecessary mastectomy.
Although the criminal case involved just a sample of his patients, it is believed he may have carried out “completely unnecessary” operations on up to 1,000 people.
The 59-year-old’s motive remains obscure, but his victims believe he was driven by greed to earn more money for his private practice.
Hundreds are now seeking compensation after being operated on at Spire Healthcare’s Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands.
Judge Jeremy Baker told Paterson he had deliberately deceived “vulnerable” patients who had trusted his advice.
He said: “It is difficult to overstate the psychological effect on these women.
“In pursuit of your own self-aggrandisement and material rewards…You deliberately preyed on their worst fears.”
The judge said the surgeon’s motivation for what he did “may never be known”.
“Your arrogance misled you into believing you were untouchable,” the judge added.
Throughout the sentencing Paterson sat in the dock shaking his head, much of the time with his eyes closed.
He has offered no apology to his victims and maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.
Jurors heard harrowing evidence from 10 patients treated privately by Paterson between 1997 and 2011.
Frances Perks, who had already lost her mother and sister to breast cancer before being referred to Paterson, told ITV News he should “rot in hell”.
“I want to see that man suffer. I want him to feel pain and everything I’ve felt and gone through over the last four years.”
Patricia Welch had a lump removed from her breast after Paterson wrongly told her it was a “ticking time bomb”.
Speaking after he was sentenced, she held back tears as she said: “Today’s sentencing has brought to an end over four years of trauma and stress in trying to bring this man to account.
“No amount of prison sentence will ever compensate what myself and the other people affected have gone through.
“We may never know the real reason why he acted in such an evil way.
“Throughout the trial he has made no attempt to show any remorse for his actions and maybe revealed his true character rather than the charming professional man we all thought he was.
“But now I feel that justice has been done.”
Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said no sentence could ever reflect the pain and suffering experience by his victims.
Branding him a “rogue surgeon”, she added: “Ian Paterson was a liar who ultimately cheated his patients out of the care they needed. Simply put, he is a disgrace to the medical profession.”
A statement from CPS specialist prosecutor Pamela Jain said: “The impact of Paterson’s actions on his victims has been devastating, from the unnecessary distress of undergoing procedures they did not need, to the scars that will always serve as a physical reminder of what their doctor did to them.
“I hope that today’s prison sentence provides them with a sense of justice being served.”
Since Paterson’s conviction for 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding, at least a further 100 patients have come forward.
Victims packed into the court and when the sentence was passed they stared at the surgeon who had harmed them but remained silent.
They are now campaigning for better protection and rights for private patients.
The NHS has already paid out £9.5 million in damages and more than £8 million in legal costs.