Police doctors killed prisoner with drugs

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The Independent Online
TWO POLICE doctors were convicted yesterday of killing a remand prisoner by recklessly prescribing the former heroin addict a 'lethal cocktail' of drugs.

One doctor, Dhirendra Saha, was in intensive care when the verdict was announced after suffering a heart attack in court during the summing-up on Tuesday.

Saha and his colleague, Chulam Salim, both 56, were found guilty of the manslaughter of Graham Rawlinson, 23, an unemployed roofer, after a five-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

The court had heard how Rawlinson was turned into a 'zombie' - unable to walk straight or speak clearly - and died later after receiving the huge doses while on remand in Grimsby police station.

Mr Justice Curtis asked for detailed medical reports on Saha before sentencing, but warned Salim, who was released on bail, that he could expect to go to prison.

Rawlinson arrived at the station a 'fit and healthy man', the court was told. He had been on remand on burglary charges in Strangeways prison, Manchester, but was transferred elsewhere after the riots in May 1990. He spent the next two months breaking his heroin addiction before being sent to Grimsby.

Three days after his arrival on 7 September, Rawlinson, who lived with his girlfriend and three- year-old son in Levenshulme, Manchester, started the drugs regime that killed him.

For no clear reason, the two police doctors prescribed five drugs, including methadone, a heroin substitute used to help addicts coming off the drug, in doses sometimes as much as five times the recommended maximum.

Six months before Rawlinson died a relief doctor visited the station while the two doctors were on holiday and found it 'awash' with drugs.