No verdict yet in Aus trial of Indian-origin doctor

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 16:54

Melbourne: An Australian court today put off its verdict for the second time after the jury failed to decide the fate of Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, accused of causing grievous bodily harm to one of his patients.

On the fourth day of deliberations, the jury of six men and women sent a note to District Court Judge Terry Martin indicating they were unable to reach a unanimous decision, the Australian Associated Press reported today.

Justice Martin discharged the panel in the afternoon.

Patel, the 63-year-old former director of surgery at the Bundaberg hospital, has pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Vowles in 2004.

He removed the patient`s colon and rectum and the Crown alleges the operation was unnecessary.

During the trial, the Crown had alleged that the surgery was not necessary which was argued by the defence as stating that Patel took reasonable care.

The defence also argued that Patel had offered Vowles treatment options to give him a cancer-free future.

It was the second time Patel had faced trial over the same allegation.
A 2010 Supreme Court jury found him guilty of causing Vowles grievous bodily harm, and killing three other patients.

Patel was sentenced to seven years` prison. However all convictions were quashed on appeal last year and the charges are being re-tried separately.

Brisbane Crown prosecutor Peter Davis said the Director of Publication Prosecutions (DPP) would make an announcement shortly about whether a third trial would be sought.

Patel`s barrister Ken Fleming said it was a disappointing result and his client was a little frustrated since he would like the DPP to drop the charge.
Fleming said he was determined to fight all charges against Patel.
"We`re determined that this is going to be seen through," he told reporters.

AFP

First Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 16:20

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