Extended jail term sought for Indian-origin doctorJuly 20th, 2010 - 1:00 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, July 20 (IANS) The jail term of Indian-origin doctor Jayant Patel, sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm on patients at an Australian hospital, should be extended, a law official has said in a fresh appeal.
Queensland’s Attorney-General Cameron Dick in his appeal Monday sought Patel to be declared a serious violent offender for killing three patients and maiming another, Australian news agency AAP reported.
Dubbed Dr Death, Patel was jailed after being found guilty of three counts of manslaughter and one of grievous bodily harm following a lengthy trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane July 1.
The charges relate to his time as director of surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005.
Patel’s lawyers have lodged an appeal Thursday against his conviction and sentence.
Court documents reveal Dick will seek an increased sentence on four grounds, arguing it “failed to reflect adequately the gravity of the offences generally and in this case in particular”.
Dick’s lawyers will also argue the seven-year term failed to take into account general deterrence and gave too much weight to mitigating factors.
The appeal does not give an indication of the proposed jail term; prosecutors originally sought a sentence of at least 10 years.
Under Queensland law, this would automatically see Patel declared a serious violent offender.
According to the court documents, Dick argued that sentencing judge John Byrne erred in not exercising his discretion to make a similar declaration for the lesser sentence.
The attorney general’s appeal has been welcomed by widow Judy Kemps, who lost her husband Gerry following an operation by Patel.
However, Kemps said the guilty verdicts were the most important thing for her.
“The verdict was closure for me. My aim has only been that he can’t go anywhere else and do it to anybody else,” Kemps said.
Bundaberg Hospital Patients Support Group president Beryl Crosby said she was initially happy with the sentence but now believed it wasn’t long enough.
“… obviously it’s a light sentence when you look at it in that context, so I mean we were really pleased he was doing jail time but I am really really pleased that the Attorney-General has taken this stance,” she told the ABC.
Queensland independent MP Rob Messenger, who helped lobby the government to bring Patel to justice, has also thrown his weight behind the Attorney-General’s appeal.
However, he has questioned who will pay for the counter appeal lodged by Patel’s lawyers last week.
“All the good work that the attorney general has done could come undone if he confirms that it is the Queensland government who is going to pay for Patel’s appeal,” Messenger said.
A spokesman for Queensland attorney general said the state would not be paying for Patel’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.
During his trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court, Indian-born and US-trained, Patel had pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of James Phillips, 46, Gerry Kemps, 77, and Mervyn Morris, 75, who died following surgery performed by him.
He had also pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Vowles, whose healthy bowel he removed in October 2004.
The trial involved the evidence of 76 witnesses over 53 days.
The prosecution had said that the operations on the three men should not have been done at Bundaberg as the hospital did not have the resources to cope with such major surgeries.
Patel’s barrister Michael Byrne told the jury that Patel had performed the operations for the benefit of his patients. He said that each operation had been carried out with the patient’s consent.
- 'Dr Death' Jayant Patel's lawyers lodge appeal in manslaughter case - Jul 15, 2010
- Indian-origin doctor appeals conviction in Australia - Jul 15, 2010
- 'Dr. Death' Jayant Patel can walk free in three-and-a-half years - Jul 01, 2010
- Indian-origin doctor guilty of manslaughter in Australia - Jun 29, 2010
- Goalposts moved in Dr Death's manslaughter trial - Mar 02, 2011
- Indian-origin doctor gets 7 years jail term in Australia (Lead) - Jul 01, 2010
- 'Dr. Death'Jayant Patel jailed for seven years - Jul 01, 2010
- Indian-origin 'Dr. Death' Patel loses manslaughter appeal, to approach HC - Apr 21, 2011
- 'Dr. Death' Patel was competent for oesophagectomy operations: Defence counsel - Jun 21, 2010
- 'Dead patients of Indian-origin doctor consented to surgeries' - Jun 17, 2010
- 'Dr. Death' Jayant Patel moved to new jail in Brisbane - Jul 05, 2010
- 'Dr. Death' Jayant Patel on suicide watch - Jul 01, 2010
- Indian-origin doctor called his hospital third world country - May 11, 2010
- Dr. 'Death' Patel manslaughter verdict may not survive appeal, warns judge - Jun 30, 2010
- Patel surgery victims to file compensation lawsuit against Queensland Health - Jul 09, 2010
Tags: australian news, bundaberg base hospital, doctor sydney, dr death, general deterrence, grievous bodily harm, guilty verdicts, hospital patients, husband gerry, indian origin, jail term, jayant patel, john byrne, judge john, kemps, lengthy trial, manslaughter, mitigating factors, queensland law, violent offender