G20 doctor Freddy Patel's fitness 'impaired', says GMC

Freddy Patel
Image caption The General Medical Council will now decide what action to take against Dr Patel

The GMC has said the fitness to practise of a pathologist criticised over his report into a man's death at the G20 protests is "impaired".

A disciplinary panel upheld allegations earlier this week against Dr Freddy Patel of misconduct and "deficient professional performance".

The charges related to his post-mortem examination of murder victim Sally White and claims he made on his CV.

The GMC panel will now decide what action to take against him.

Dr Patel was previously criticised for his post-mortem examination of newspaper salesman Ian Tomlinson, who died at the G20 protests in London after being pushed by a police officer.

'Inflexible approach'

Dr Patel concluded Mr Tomlinson died from heart disease but this finding was contradicted by another post-mortem examination which blamed abdominal bleeding.

The latest allegations to be upheld related to Dr Patel's handling of a post-mortem examination on Ms White, who was murdered by Anthony Hardy in north London in 2002.

Dr Patel said injuries, including gashes to her liver and bite marks, could all have come from natural causes and there were no signs she was assaulted.

But the GMC said he had not considered all of the available evidence and failed to weigh up other likely reasons for her death.

The panel said Dr Patel had an "inflexible approach" to his autopsy conclusions and gave "superficial" consideration to the possibility she was asphyxiated.

Possible ban

This fell "below the standard expected for a competent forensic pathologist", the panel added.

Dr Patel was also found guilty of deliberately acting in a way that was "dishonest and liable to bring the profession into disrepute" over a CV entry.

Last October, he was suspended for three months after a panel found that he failed to meet proper standards.

He faces the possibility of a further suspension or being banned from working as a pathologist.

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