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Doctor 'misled court to promote theory'

A world authority on bone disease misled two child abuse cases to promote his own theory, the General Medical Council heard yesterday.

Dr Colin Paterson is accused of diagnosing two youngsters withTemporary Brittle Bone Disease (TBBD), despite medical evidence which did not support his findings.

The professional conduct committee in Manchester heard that TBBD was Dr Paterson's theory and was disputed within the medical profession.

The doctor, a retired specialist chemical pathologist, from Longforgan, near Dundee, acted as a witness for two sets of parents accused of harming their children. In both cases he is accused of failing to fulfil his duty as an expert witness.

In Britain, Dr Paterson appeared for the parents of a child, known as Miss X, who wanted to stop their daughter being taken into care after she was found to have a number of fractures.

He also acted as a witness for a couple in Arizona alleged to have harmed their baby daughter, who had 14 broken bones.

In the British case Miss X was taken from her parents by the courts, and in the American case the parents of Amber Talmadge, Audra and Martin, were jailed for 35 years each.

The GMC says Dr Paterson "misled, or risked misleading the courts". Dr Paterson, 66, denies serious professional misconduct. The hearing was adjourned until today.