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Fresh probe into patient deaths

30th June 2006

Eight of the 16 deaths of patients referred to police after a GP was cleared of murder, are to be investigated further.

Thirty-two deaths, including the three that County Durham GP Dr Howard Martin faced a murder trial over, are being studied by police and a coroner.

Durham Police said initial inquiries into the 16 cases were complete but eight warranted "a closer look".

The GP was acquitted of murdering three patients with painkillers in 2005. Sixteen other cases remain in the hands of Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle.

In December last year, the 71-year-old GP, who used to practise in Newton Aycliffe before retiring to Penmaenmawr, North Wales, was unanimously cleared by a jury of killing Frank Moss, 59, and Harry Gittins and Stanley Weldon, both 74, by injecting them with massive overdoses of morphine, after a six week trial.

Dr Martin remains suspended by the General Medical Council after the High Court extended by a further two months an interim order imposed by the medical watchdogs 18 months ago.

That order will now run until the middle of next year.

 

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