David Sellu trial: Jail for doctor in manslaughter case
- 5 November 2013
- From the section London
A senior doctor at a private hospital in north-west London has been jailed for two-and-a-half-years for killing a patient.
Surgeon David Sellu was found guilty at the Old Bailey of manslaughter by gross negligence of a patient.
James Hughes, 66, died in 2010 at the Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow, having suffered a perforated bowel after a routine knee replacement.
Sellu ignored his condition and carried on with his clinic, the court heard.
After Mr Hughes's knee operation on 5 February 2010, the retired builder from County Armagh, Northern Ireland, developed abdominal pain and was transferred to the care of Sellu.
The Old Bailey heard he "simply ignored" the urgency of the potentially life-threatening condition and instead of operating on Mr Hughes carried on with his scheduled appointments.
Mr Hughes died on 14 February.
Elizabeth Joslin of the Crown Prosecution Service said Sellu's care "fell far below the expected standard, with terrible consequences".
"This doctor's actions were not mistakes or errors of judgement but negligence so serious that he has now been convicted of a criminal offence," she said.
Mr Hughes's widow Ann Hughes said the family had been subjected to a "tortuous purgatory" only brought to an end by "truth and justice".
She said: "Our trust in normal processes, authorities and structures of society was shattered by the inexplicable, callous and deceitful actions of the medical profession entrusted with the most basic responsibility to protect human life."
Sellu, 66, had denied gross negligence manslaughter.
He was was found not guilty of perjury after he was accused of lying to the victim's inquest under oath.