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Monday, 11 December, 2000, 19:13 GMT
Anaesthetist jailed for lying
Manchester Crown Court
The case was heard at Manchester Crown Court
A consultant anaesthetist has been jailed for four months after lying to an inquest about his treatment of a terminally ill woman.

The patient died after undergoing surgery conducted by Yashvant Pole at Trafford General Hospital, Greater Manchester.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Pole failed to follow recognised procedures during the operation.

As a result, the patient was sick during surgery, inhaled her own vomit and died in her sleep soon afterwards.

When a doctor is proved to have lied in a court of law it is a matter of the utmost seriousness

Judge Sir Rhys Davies
But the doctor insisted on oath at an inquest in May last year that he had followed the correct procedure.

Others in the theatre - including a house officer and an assistant anaesthetist - said he had not applied pressure to the patient's throat to prevent vomiting.

Mr Pole admitted perjuring himself at the inquest.

Judge's ruling

Jailing the doctor, Judge Sir Rhys Davies QC told him: "This case does not concern your clinical judgement during your professional duties or the unhappy death of the patient.

"When a doctor is proved to have lied in a court of law it is a matter of the utmost seriousness.

"It is also a very serious matter indeed to give false evidence before a coroner.

"For a doctor to do so is wholly unacceptable."

Prosecutor David Friesner said the 65 year-old patient had a malignant growth in her stomach, causing continual sickness, but during the operation to relieve the condition she was sick.


Mr Friesner said it was not the Crown's case that Mr Pole's conduct had anything to do with the patient's death.

Mr Pole was later dismissed from the National Health Service Trust.

There had been no further disciplinary action.

At the inquest Mr Pole had insisted he applied the pressure at the correct time.

But evidence to the contrary led to an internal inquiry at the coroner's suggestion.

'High price paid'

It became apparent Mr Pole had perjured himself at the inquest by saying he had applied pressure to the throat.

Philip Cattan, defending, said Mr Pole had paid a high price for misleading the coroner.

"He has lost his career, family, professional standing and reputation. He is here in disgrace."

Mr Cattan said the offence had arisen out of an error of judgement initially and Pole "not being able to face up to it".

He also had health and personal worries, Mr Cattan said.

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