Man jailed in Aids case still receives NHS pay: Convicted blood transfusion director getting pounds 50,000 salary while French authorities consider appeal. Steve Connor reports

A CONVICTED criminal who is serving a two-year prison sentence is still receiving his pounds 50,000-a-year salary from the National Health Service.

Jean-Pierre Allain was suspended on full pay from his job as director of the East Anglian Regional Blood Transfusion Service last October, when he was convicted in France of knowingly distributing Aids-contaminated blood.

Earlier this month his appeal against the conviction failed and he was jailed for two years, with another two years suspended. The East Anglian Regional Health Authority yesterday confirmed that he was still being paid. Alasdair Liddell, general manager of the regional health authority, said that Allain was waiting to hear whether he would be given leave to appeal for a second time and that it was inappropriate to stop his salary while that process continued.

He denied that Allain was being treated any differently from other more junior employees who were convicted of criminal offences. 'I think the same would apply. You can't just dump people. You do have to look at each case on its merit.'

Although Allain's job is funded by the NHS, his salary is paid through the University of Cambridge, where he is Professor of Transfusion Medicine. One Cambridge academic said his conviction was deeply embarrassing to the university. The regional health authority attempted to limit the damage of his conviction by setting up an 'independent inquiry' led by Baroness Warnock, mistress of Girton College, Cambridge, who has made a study of medical ethics.

The inquiry team of five health professionals did not consider the legalities of the French court case, only whether Allain was fit to continue in his post. It interviewed only two people: Allain and 'one other French witness'.

In June, the health authority published the inquiry's findings, which ran to just seven paragraphs, and concluded that Allain should keep his job. 'His actions were consistent with medical professional ethics,' the inquiry panel said.

Earlier this month, however, a French appeal court decided to uphold Allain's conviction for knowingly distributing Aids-contaminated blood products to haemophiliacs between March and October 1985, when he was head of research and development at the French national blood transfusion service. Of about 1,200 French haemophiliacs who received blood products in 1985, nearly 300 have since died of Aids and many more are infected with HIV.

Allain argued that in January of 1985 he wrote to his boss, Michel Garretta, the director of the transfusion service, urging him to introduce safer, heat-treated blood products. He said he repeated the warnings verbally and in writing.

Last year, after his conviction was announced, Allain said: 'I consider that I have been selected as a scapegoat and that nothing like a fair trial has taken place.'

Mr Liddell said the regional health authority would meet this week and was expected to discuss Allain's position.

Leading article, page 15

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home