Dr Freddy Patel labelled 'misleading' over Tomlinson case
- 13 August 2012
- From the section UK
A disciplinary panel says the pathologist who conducted the first post-mortem examination on Ian Tomlinson is "dishonest" and "liable to bring his profession into disrepute".
Dr Freddy Patel said Mr Tomlinson, who was pushed to the ground by a policeman at the G20 protests in London in 2009, had died of coronary artery disease.
A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel found this was wrong.
The panel also found that his conduct was "misleading".
In total, 68 failings were identified by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Dr Patel's work on the case of Mr Tomlinson.
The panel will now determine if his "fitness to practise" was "impaired by reason of misconduct and/or deficient professional performance" and if he should be allowed to continue as a pathologist.
An inquest jury found that Mr Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed but the police officer who pushed him and struck him with a baton, Simon Harwood, was cleared of manslaughter.
Last year, Dr Patel - who is currently suspended - was given a four-month ban for dishonesty and omitting key findings after examining the body of a murder victim who he said had died from natural causes.
Dr Patel has also served a three-month suspension for failings in other cases and is no longer on the official register of approved forensic pathologists.
He compiled two reports into Mr Tomlinson's death, both on the same day - on 6 April 2009 and 6 April 2010. The second was done after receiving new evidence.
The panel has released its findings on Mr Tomlinson's case, finding that Dr Patel admitted not including in his first report that he had mentioned to police that he had found injuries that could be consistent with a baton strike.
It also found the pathologist did not properly consider or comment on how abdominal bleeding found on Mr Tomlinson could have caused his collapse and death.
And the panel also found that Dr Patel did not fully explain how Mr Tomlinson could have died from a heart attack or adequately consider any other possible non-natural causes of death.
Dr Patel's second post-mortem report also contained a series of mistakes and incorrect conclusions, according to the panel, who found him to be dishonest as he did not identify changes made to his first report referring to Mr Tomlinson's liver injuries.
He played down signs of bleeding by saying there was "no sign of haematoma" on his liver and also failed to comment on the significance of these changes, which was misleading, the panel said.
Also 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.
And despite having seen CCTV footage of Mr Tomlinson being hit with a baton by a policeman, Dr Patel also wrongly concluded that "there were no significant marks of violence from assault or forceful restraint".
The panel has been sitting in Manchester but is due to relocate to London for three days so that Dr Patel can give evidence in person.