A disgraced surgeon whose string of botched operations left four women dead was last night struck off the medical register.

Steven Walker, 44, was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council. It ruled he had performed liver, bowel and breast operations "beyond the limit" of his competence and expertise.

The surgeon had denied misconduct relating to 10 operations at the Blackpool Victoria NHS Trust between December 1995 and March 1998. Four women died under his knife while another six were either maimed or disfigured. During the six-week hearing, he was accused of having a "deep-rooted lack of insight into his own ability" and of "serial incompetence".

Neil Saville, whose mother Mabel, 86, died after being operated on by Walker, said: "I'm delighted. It seems to me he's perpetrated a fraud on his patients and on some of his medical staff and he deserves to be struck off for life."