Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

'Best way to protect public': Manchester tribunal strip doctor of medical licence after lying about G20 protestor's death

'Best way to protect public': Manchester tribunal strip doctor of medical licence after lying about G20 protestor's death

By Dean Wilkins

A ‘dishonest’ pathologist, who botched the post-mortem examination of a man killed by police during the G20 riots, had his medical licence revoked at a Manchester hearing.

Dr Freddy Patel was banned from practising medicine after he claimed that Ian Tomlinson died from a heart attack despite video footage showing that the newspaper seller was struck by police in the protests on April 1 2009.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester found Dr Patel, who was not at the hearing due to his wife’s being taken ill, guilty of misconduct and finally removed his licence – he had been investigated numerous times and suspended twice in the last decade.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said: "We welcome the decision by the MPTS that Dr Patel's name should be removed from the medical register. This means he is no longer able to practise as a doctor in the UK.

"We asked for him to be removed from the register as the best way of protecting the public because his conduct fell far below the standards we expect of a doctor. We are therefore pleased by today's outcome."

The doctor, who trained at the University of Zambia, was found to be misleading, dishonest and liable to bring his profession into disrepute over parts of his handling Mr Tomlinson’s post-mortem.

Dr Patel revealed he did not include in his first report that he found injuries that could be consistent with a baton strike and abdominal bleeding could have caused Mr Tomlinson’s collapse and death.

Adrian Hopkins QC, representing Dr Patel, claimed it was in the public interest to allow a pathologist with 35 years’ experience to carry on providing his expertise after suffering ‘considerable financial hardship’.

But Rev Robert Lloyd-Richards, chairman of the MTPS panel, told Dr Patel: "Your rigid mind-set, illustrated by your inability to reflect on the case of Mr Tomlinson and your unwarranted confidence in your own abilities, does not convince this panel that it would be appropriate to impose conditions, even with the most stringent supervision, on your registration.

"The panel considers that you have a deep-seated attitudinal problem.

"You have twice been suspended for your failings in relation to post-mortem examinations you have carried out.

"You have now appeared before a fitness to practise panel three times.

"The failings against you both historically and presently involve five separate post-mortem examinations.

"It is of grave concern to this panel that despite efforts by previous panels to guide you as to remediation, your evidence in relation to this case concerning Mr Tomlinson was far from reassuring in terms of what you have learned and how you have modified your thinking in relation to interpretations of findings and clinico-pathological correlation."

Mr Tomlinson's widow Julia said: "We aren't surprised he has been struck off. It is more of a surprise that he was able to work as a pathologist for so long and that he was selected to do the post-mortem on Ian.

"We are pleased that he will not be able to put any more families through the ordeal he caused us, but the damage he has done can't now be undone."

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