Patel charges dropped
Former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel could be back home in the U.S. “one day soon” after all medical negligence charges against him were dropped. Nine News
PT2M3S http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2xlg3 620 349 November 15, 2013 – 1:46PM
It cost Queensland taxpayers close to $ 3.6 million over seven years to press charges of manslaughter, criminal negligence and fraud charges against former Bundaberg surgeon, Dr Jayant Patel.
On Friday, Queensland’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Tony Moynihan, QC decided not to proceed with the remaining criminal negligence charges.
Dr Patel has spent more than two years in prison after being convicted in June 2010 of four charges before the High Court in August 2012 upheld his appeal and ordered retrials.
He was found guilty of three charges of unlawfully killing a patient and a fourth count of causing grievous bodily harm.
On March 13, 2013, Brisbane’s Supreme Court found Dr Patel not guilty of criminal negligence in the first of the retrials.
Dr Patel has on Friday pleaded guilty to four fraud charges, linked to his registration as a doctor in Queensland and will be sentenced on Thursday.
Mr Moynihan decided it was not in the public interest to continue the charges alleging criminal negligence against Jayant Patel.
“I have had to decide whether Jayant Patel should face a fourth trial for allegedly causing
death or grievous bodily harm through criminal negligence,” Mr Moynihan said.
“In making this decision, I must balance the obvious public interest in the due prosecution and conviction of offenders with the views of the victims or their families, the significant period of time that has passed since the offences are alleged to have been committed, the two and a half years Jayant Patel has spent in custody.”
Documents obtained from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions by Fairfax Media show it has cost $ 3,508,792 to pursue the range of charges against Dr Jayant Patel from July 2006 until June 30, 2013.
That includes $ 40,875 in living expenses for Dr Patel during the trials.
It also includes $ 54,416 in hotel accommodation, $ 22,417.63 in subsistence allowances, $ 1606.94 in phone calls, $ 3510.75 in electricity, $ 2327.20 in dental and medical expenses and $ 162.74 for passports.
Expenses for judicial staff was $ 2,534,821, while jury expenses in 2013 totalled $ 64,936 and in 2010 cost $ 130,612.
Bundaberg nurse whistleblower Toni Hoffman on Friday said she was “devastated” by the decision not to proceed with further criminal negligence charges.
“I think a lot of people feel the same way,” Ms Hoffman said.
“It’s been such a long time and a lot of victims still held out hope.”