Ian Tomlinson death investigation doctor Freddy Patel may face axe

 

Arj Singh
Monday 13 August 2012 16:55
Comments
Ian Tomlinson
Ian Tomlinson

A pathologist could face being struck off over his part in the investigation into the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests.

Dr Freddy Patel was found by a medical tribunal to be misleading, dishonest and liable to bring his profession into disrepute over parts of his handling of the post-mortem examination of Mr Tomlinson's body.

The pathologist, who is currently suspended, concluded that newspaper seller Mr Tomlinson died from a heart attack, but questions were raised when an American tourist came forward with a film recording of him being hit.

Further medical reports suggested that in fact he died from an injury to his liver that caused internal bleeding and then cardiac arrest.

At the inquest into Mr Tomlinson's death, Dr Patel's claim that Mr Tomlinson died of a heart attack was discredited by the jury in favour of the string of experts who said he died of internal bleeding.

Dr Patel now faces a hearing into whether he is fit to practise, arranged by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) on behalf of the General Medical Council.

One potential outcome of the hearing is that Dr Patel will be struck off.

Ahead of the hearing, the MPTS fitness to practise panel have released their findings of fact in the case, which have found Dr Patel to be misleading, dishonest and liable to bring his profession into disrepute over certain aspects of his second post-mortem report.

The panel also identified a string of failures in both his first and second reports.

Among them, Dr Patel admitted not including in his first report that he mentioned to police during the examination that he found injuries that could be consistent with a baton strike.

The panel found that Dr Patel did not properly consider or comment on the fact that abdominal bleeding found on Mr Tomlinson could have caused his collapse and death.

They also found that the pathologist did not adequately explain how Mr Tomlinson could have died from a heart attack or adequately consider any other possible non-natural causes of his death.

After receiving new evidence, Dr Patel compiled a second post-mortem report on the same day, April 6 2010, but again made a series of mistakes and incorrect conclusions, according to the panel.

The panel found Dr Patel to be dishonest as he did not identify changes made to his first report referring to Mr Tomlinson's liver injuries, downplaying signs of bleeding by saying there was "no sign of haematoma" on his liver.

He also failed to comment on the significance of these changes, which was misleading, the panel found.

In the second report, Dr Patel wrongly concluded that Mr Tomlinson died of a heart attack, and wrongly concluded that "death could not have been due to haemorrhage" and "the injury to the liver was relatively minor", the panel found.

Dr Patel also wrongly concluded that "there were no significant marks of violence from assault or forceful restraint" despite having seen CCTV footage of Mr Tomlinson being hit with a baton by a policeman.

The panel will now start considering whether the proven facts indicate that Dr Patel's fitness to practise was impaired, in a hearing expected to last for three weeks.

They will sit in Manchester today and tomorrow before relocating to London for three days so that Dr Patel can give evidence in person.

Last month, Pc Simon Harwood was cleared of the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson in 2009. He said he had used reasonable force when he hit the 47-year-old with a baton and shoved him to the ground as he walked away from police lines in the City of London.

Mr Tomlinson had been homeless for several years during his life and was a heavy drinker, suffering from cirrhosis of the liver.

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in