Ripper victim pathologist suspended
A pathologist found guilty of serious misconduct over his post-mortem examination reports into the death of a victim of so-called "Camden Ripper" Anthony Hardy has been suspended for four months.
Dr Freddy Patel, 63, who was criticised over his part in the investigation into the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests, omitted autopsy findings which he considered not "relevant" when examining the body of 31-year-old prostitute Sally White.
A General Medical Council (GMC) panel ruled earlier this month that his fitness to practise was impaired and found him guilty of dishonesty regarding his CV. It has now concluded that his behaviour was "fundamentally at odds" with the role and responsibilities expected of a doctor.
It told him: "The panel has determined that a period of suspension of your registration is appropriate and proportionate in your case.
"The period of your suspension will be four months. Such an order adequately addresses the findings of dishonesty and addresses the public interest, which includes maintaining of public confidence in the medical profession and declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour."
The sanctions will take effect four weeks from when Dr Patel receives written notification of his suspension. Earlier this month, the GMC panel found 29 allegations against Dr Patel's examination of Hardy's first victim were proved.
This included the assertion that he did not properly consider the location of her clothes, blood stains on her bedding and clothes or the location and position of Ms White's body in a locked room, in the flat of a recently-arrested man.
The panel said Dr Patel had an "inflexible approach" to his autopsy conclusions and gave "superficial" consideration to the possibility she was asphyxiated, which fell "below the standard expected for a competent forensic pathologist".
Dr Patel was suspended for three months last year in relation to separate allegations. Following this ruling, he was required to take steps to prove he could be trusted to conduct post-mortem examinations on adults, name another pathologist to review his work and improve his knowledge of the law governing autopsies.
While the panel said his efforts went "some way" towards addressing its concerns, it said "more would have to be done" for it to be satisfied that his clinical abilities were "of a sufficient standard" to practise unrestricted. His case will be considered before his suspension ends.