GP Rejendra Kokkarne cleared over morphine deaths

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A doctor accused of killing two patients by prescribing high doses of a painkiller has been cleared of manslaughter.

Rejendra Kokkarne, 37, of, Worksop, had denied two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence at Leeds Crown Court.

The GP was accused of causing the deaths of care home patients Beryl Barber, 78, and Eric Watson, 86.

Both died after they were prescribed ten times the normal starting dose of morphine sulphate by Dr Kokkarne.

Made a mistake

He had been told about their pain over the phone by a nurse at the Charlton Centre for Alzheimer's and Dementia Care in Batley, West Yorkshire.

Mrs Barber had been suffering from painful ulcers and Mr Watson had a urinary infection and mouth ulcers.

The prosecution had argued Dr Kokkarne was not fully concentrating as records show he prescribed the drugs in between surfing the internet.

Dr Kokkarne, of Fulmar Way, told police he had made a mistake.

He had denied two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence of Mrs Barber on 3 February 2008 and of Mr Watson on 4 February.

He was acquitted on both counts by a jury after more than a day of deliberations.

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