Mutilating doctor fights two-year prison sentence

An appeal by disgraced former obstetrician Graeme Reeves was heard by the NSW Supreme Court on Monday. 

Reeves appealed part of his conviction for indecently assaulting and mutilating female patients, for which he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in July last year.

It was reported in March Reeves had lodged an appeal against his sentence for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, a charge relating to Wolumla woman Carolyn Dewaegeneire. 

The notice of appeal came just days before a separate appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions, on behalf of Ms Dewaegeneire, was to be heard on the “manifestly inadequate sentence”.

On Monday, both appeals were heard in conjunction by the Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal in Sydney.

Former obstetrician and gynaecologist Reeves was jailed last year for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, and two counts of indecent assault, convictions that, combined, could have carried a maximum penalty of 25 years.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ jail, with a non-parole period of only two years.

The charge specifically relating to Ms Dewaegeneire only resulted in the handing down of a one-year non-parole period.

Ms Dewaegeneire said she was “livid” about the sentence and suggested the result would have been tougher if Reeves’ victims were men.

“I thought the law was to protect the public and the people. I have now learnt otherwise,” Ms Dewaegeneire said after the sentence was handed down in July last year.

Prior to heading to Sydney for the appeal hearing Ms Dewaegeneire said which way the Supreme Court will go is a mystery.

Potentially, Reeves could either have his jail sentence increased if the DPP appeal is successful, or be let off entirely.

“I’m not particularly very happy at all to think he only got one year for what he did to me,” Ms Dewaegeneire said. 

“I intend to front the media after the hearing, but I won’t be talking about my particular case or trial at all until it’s finally resolved.

“However, there are other things [about our justice system] that I feel very strongly about and I want the media to listen.” 

The Chief Justice, Tom Bathurst, and Justices Peter Hall and Robert Allan Hulme reserved their decision.

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