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Tomlinson pathologist struck off
A pathologist has been struck off after he botched the post-mortem examination on the body of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson who died during the G20 riots.
Dr Freddy Patel was finally banned from practising as a doctor despite being investigated numerous times and suspended on two previous occasions by medical watchdogs over his unsatisfactory work dating back a decade.
Dr Patel was found guilty of misconduct but was not at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) sitting in Manchester. Dr Patel, who qualified at the University of Zambia in 1974 and has practised as a pathologist for 35 years, was excused attendance to look after his sick wife but listened in on the hearing by conference call from London.
The medic's actions were found 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. The Rev Robert Lloyd-Richards, chairman of the MPTS fitness to practise panel which heard the case, told Dr Patel he had an "unwarranted confidence" in his ability, "a deep-seated attitudinal problem" and also "lacked insight".
Mr Tomlinson, 47, died on April 1 2009 after he became caught up in the G20 riots in the City of London as he tried to get home and was pushed over by Pc Simon Harwood.
Dr Patel concluded that he died from a heart attack, but questions were raised when an American tourist came forward with a video recording of him being hit. Further medical reports suggested that Mr Tomlinson 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 he 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's first post-mortem examination also made it all but impossible to conclude with any certainty how Mr Tomlinson came to die.
His two reports into his examination of Mr Tomlinson's body were found to be inadequate. Dr Patel admitted he did not include 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 MPTS 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. It also found he 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.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, welcomed the decision and said it had asked for Dr Patel to be struck off as "his conduct fell far below the standards we expect of a doctor." Mr Tomlinson's widow Julia said: "We are pleased that he will not be able to put any more families through the ordeal he caused us, but the damage he has done can't now be undone."