May 22, 2009 / 10:17 AM / 10 years ago

Paediatrician Southall loses appeal against GMC

LONDON (Reuters) - A paediatrician who was struck off the medical register over his false accusation that a woman drugged and killed her son, lost a High Court case on Friday against the decision.

David Southall had appealed against the General Medical Council’s (GMC) decision to strike him off in 2007 for serious professional misconduct.

It was the second time Southall had been found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

In 2004 he was suspended from undertaking child protection work for three years after he accused the husband of lawyer Sally Clark who was jailed for murdering their children.

Clark’s conviction was later quashed after evidence showed the children died naturally.

In the second case, the GMC accused Southall of “deep-seated attitudinal problems” and said he had refused to acknowledge any professional shortcomings or apologise.

It followed the child expert’s accusation against the woman whose 10-year-old son hanged himself in 1996.

Southall made the accusations after being asked by a county council to provide an independent report related to the safety of the woman’s surviving son.

The doctor’s lawyers had argued that the GMC failed to give any weight to inconsistencies in the mother’s evidence, and to the totality of evidence from witnesses, including social workers.

But High Court judge Justice Blake ruled the decision to strike him off was justified, the Press Association reported.

“He was speculating on non-medical matters in an offensive manner entirely inconsistent with the status of an independent expert,” Blake said.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison

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