Surgeon admits illness put patients at risk

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A DOCTOR was believed to have made legal history yesterday when he admitted endangering the health of patients by performing surgery knowing that he was carrying a highly contagious form of hepatitis.

Umesh Gaud, 40, of east London, who worked at two London hospitals, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to causing a public nuisance between 20 August 1990 and 4 October 1993.

Because the charge was laid under Common Law - which is guided by practice rather than statute - Gaud, who was a senior house officer at the Royal London Hospital and later a registrar at the London Chest Hospital, could face an unlimited prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine.

The case was adjourned to 28 September for pre-sentence reports and Gaud was released on bail.