The son of a haemophiliac who died after being given HIV has said health staff who covered up the infected blood scandal should be jailed.

Dave Farry’s dad, John, contracted the deadly disease after he was treated with contaminated blood imported by the NHS in the early 1980s.

The County Durham factory worker was one of over 30,000 people infected between the 1970s and 1990s, in a disaster described by public inquiry chairman Sir Brian Langstaff as a “calamity”.

On Monday, a damning report concluded the infected blood scandal “could largely have been avoided” and there was a “pervasive” cover-up to hide the truth.

It found deliberate attempts were made to conceal the disaster, including evidence of Whitehall officials destroying documents, and patients were knowingly exposed to unacceptable risks of infection.

The Northern Echo: Dave Farry Dave Farry (Image: Sarah Caldecott)Calling for the launch of a criminal inquiry, Dave Farry, a father-of-two, who lives in Ferryhill, said those responsible should be held accountable.

The 61-year-old said: “It beggars belief. People should be prosecuted for this, absolutely.

“Decisions have consequences and if you have made decisions that cost people their lives and then tried to cover it up the consequences should be very high.

“Of course they should go to prison. People go to prison for telling lies.

“But their actions have killed people and of course they should face the consequences.”

The 2,527-page report documents a “catalogue of failures” which had “catastrophic” consequences, not only among people infected with contaminated blood and blood products, but also their loved ones.

The Northern Echo: John Farry John Farry (Image: Contributor)

John Farry, a coil winder at Smart and Brown in Spennymoor, husband to Tina and father to two boys died of pneumonia in November 1985.

In the months before his death, he and his family were subjected to vile homophobic abuse with swastikas and AIDS was daubed on the front of his childhood home.

Dave said: “I lost my dad at a very young age and my kids never got to meet their grandad. That is not our fault.

“We were relying on people to make decisions on our behalf.

“As a family we suffered very badly. It was terrible.

“The fact this was covered up is disgraceful. It is astounding that it could even happen.

“Unfortunately, because of the passage of time a lot of people who involved won’t even be here now.”

The Northern Echo: Carol and Pater Grayson Carol and Pater Grayson (Image: Contributor)

Dr Carol Grayson, who is from Hartlepool but lives in Newcastle, lost her husband Peter, who was treated for haemophilia with infected blood, in 2005.

She said the report had vindicated decades of campaigning and research she has put into getting justice for victims of the scandal, and agreed further action was needed.

Carol said: “I would like to see prosecutions but the problem we have got I don’t know if there is anyone left alive to prosecute.

“I would like the police and the General Medical Council, who we went to see in the early 2000s, to apologise to us and they need to be talking to us about how they can put things right.

“Over the years I have had a hell of a battle and faced a lot of abuse but all of the key findings I wrote in my 2006 dissertation are echoed in the report, which is fantastic.”

Sir Brian Langstaff said the scale of what happened is “horrifying”, with more than 3,000 people dead as a result and survivors battling for decades to uncover the truth.

The report highlights how “the truth has been hidden for decades” and there was evidence of Department of Health documents being “marked” for destruction in 1993.

“Viewing the response of the NHS and of government overall, the answer to the question ‘Was there a cover-up?’ is that there has been,” it states.

“Not in the sense of a handful of people plotting in an orchestrated conspiracy to mislead, but in a way that was more subtle, more pervasive and more chilling in its implications.

“In this way there has been a hiding of much of the truth.”

Sir Brian said the “level of suffering is difficult to comprehend” and that the harms done to people have been compounded by the reaction of successive governments, the NHS and the medical profession.

He said that repeated claims from successive governments that patients received the best medical treatment at the time, and that blood screening had been introduced at the earliest opportunity were “untrue”.

Much of the responsibility for failures identified in the report lie with successive governments, which failed to act in order to save face and expense, the inquiry said, with the current Government criticised for failing to act immediately on recommendations around compensation which were made last year.

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Ministers have earmarked around £10 billion for a compensation package for those affected, which is expected to be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sir Brian said that, as the scandal unfolded, government decision-making was slow and protracted and a “doctor knows best” belief delayed action to protect patients.

Medics lost sight of what was known about the risks of infection and patients could have received safer care.

Some patients were “betrayed” because tests were carried out on them without their knowledge or consent.

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Sir Brian said in a statement: “This disaster was not an accident.

“The infections happened because those in authority – doctors, the blood services and successive governments – did not put patient safety first.

“The response of those in authority served to compound people’s suffering.

“The Government is right to accept that compensation must be paid.

“Now is the time for national recognition of this disaster and for proper compensation to all who have been wronged.”

Kate Burt, chief executive of the Haemophilia Society, said: “This report vindicates the long-held beliefs of survivors that the Government hid the truth to protect itself and to save money.

The tragic truth is that many of the infections could and should have been prevented.”

Public inquiries are prohibited from making any recommendations about prosecutions but other countries affected by the scandal have seen ministers brought before the courts.

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A Government spokesman said: “This was an appalling tragedy that never should have happened.

“We are clear that justice needs to be done and swiftly.

“We will continue to listen carefully to the community as we address this dreadful scandal.”