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Plastic surgeon Graeme Perks a 'dedicated professional who spent his life helping others' hears trial of colleague Peter Brooks who is accused of his attempted murder

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A plastic surgeon stabbed in the early hours in his home by an intruder was described as a dedicated professional who spent his life helping others.

Bodyworn video footage from one of the first police officers on the scene was played to a jury at Nottingham Crown Court today during an attempted murder trial of a colleague accused of carrying out the act.

The life of Graham Perks, who was stabbed at his home, The Old Vicarage, Halam Hill, after disturbing an intruder who had broken in through the conservatory and doused the downstairs in petrol, was said to have only been saved by the amazing surgery he received.

Graeme Perks (58011712)
Graeme Perks (58011712)

Fellow plastic surgeon Dr Peter Brooks is on trial for the attempted murder of Mr Perks, then 65, arson with intent to endanger the lives of Mr Perks, his wife Beverley and son Henry, and possession of a knife.

He denies all charges.

Dr Peter Brooks is on trial at Nottingham Crown Court for attempted murder.
Dr Peter Brooks is on trial at Nottingham Crown Court for attempted murder.

In evidence read to the jury, the Crown suggested the motive for what took place.

Tracy Ayling QC, prosecuting, read a statement from the chief people officer at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Neil Pease, regarding disciplinary proceedings that had been brought against Dr Brooks.

Police at The Old Vicarage, Halam Hill, in the aftermath of the break-in.
Police at The Old Vicarage, Halam Hill, in the aftermath of the break-in.

In August, 2019, the trust commissioned an external investigation into concerns about Dr Brooks' conduct and whether there had been a breakdown in working relationships between Dr Brooks, his colleagues and the organisation.

"Graeme Perks was interviewed as part of that investigation in October 2019," she said.

Police at the scene of the stabbing.
Police at the scene of the stabbing.

The trust later convened a disciplinary hearing, of which Dr Pease was to chair. He informed Dr Brooks that one possible outcome could be his dismissal.

The disciplinary hearing commenced on January 11 of last year via Microsoft Teams as the country was in a coronavirus lockdown at the time.

Dr Brooks made a request to postpone the hearing, but a decision was made by the panel to proceed and Dr Brooks was notified that it would continue in his absence.

An appeal against the postponement was heard, but not upheld.

On the 13th he did attend remotely, but said he had technical difficulties joining. Assistance was offered, but declined, and Dr Brooks said he would not be attending.

Dr Pease said this was the last that he saw or heard from Dr Brooks, learning a day later Mr Perks had been attacked overnight.

"Graeme, I can only say, was a dedicated professional whose life had been spent helping others," said Dr Pease in his statement.

"It is documented that Graeme [for many years Dr Brooks' line manager] had given Peter Brooks many chances.

"Mr Brooks would have had full disclosure of the statement of Graeme Perks."

Dr Pease said this meant that Dr Brooks would have full knowledge of what the statement contained and what evidence Mr Perks would present at the hearing should Dr Brooks have called him to give witness evidence.

"It is apparent that Mr Brooks has a personal vendetta against Graeme Perks and was always confrontational about him when he was discussed in meetings during the course of the investigation," the statement went on.

"An example of this is during this lengthy and costly publicly-funded process the trust had looked to alternative solutions to agree a way forward."

At every stage, he said, Peter Brooks maintained that Mr Perks had to leave the trust, which the trust determined was unrealistic and unlawful.

An email from Dr Brooks read in court said: "It is essential that the long and overdue retirement of Graeme Perks be brought forward."

The bodycam footage entered into evidence showed Graeme Perks being given life-saving treatment by paramedics for a stab would to his abdomen.

Bodyworn camera footage of the interaction between Mr Perks and paramedics in the ambulance on the way to Queen's Medical Centre, a hospital where both surgeons worked, was also shown, along with further footage within the A&E department where an officer asked for Mr Perks' recollections of the incident.

Of his assailant, he remembered that he was wearing a head torch that made it difficult to discern anything else in the darkness of that January morning.

That same police officer had described an "overwhelming" smell of petrol at The Old Vicarage.

He had pulled back the duvet that covered Mr Perks to see blood and his intestines hanging out.

Mr Perks was conscious and alert, but very pale.

Fellow officers searched the house to see whether the assailant was still inside, and the paramedics were let in.

It has been alleged Dr Brooks cycled to Mr Perks' home in full camouflage in the early hours of a cold and snowy January 14 armed with cans of petrol, matches, a crowbar and a knife with the intention of setting light to the house ­— but instead stabbed Mr Perks when he was disturbed.

It is said that Dr Brooks fled the scene, leaving behind some of the items that he took with him, and the knife, which have allegedly proved positive for DNA. Further items were allegedly discovered at his home address.

Dr Brooks, 58, of Landseer Road, Southwell, has elected to defend himself at the trial. He has decided for the past three days of the hearing not to be present in court, which the judge said the jury should draw no conclusions from.

The trial continues...

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