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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Paediatrician's ban is extended
Professor Southall arriving at the High Court
David Southall is banned from child protection work
Controversial paediatrician David Southall has been banned from working on child abuse cases for a further 12 months by the General Medical Council.

The GMC imposed a three-year ban in 2004 after finding Southall guilty of serious professional misconduct.

A GMC hearing heard on Monday that Southall did not oppose plans to extend the ban for another year.

He accused the husband of wrongly-jailed solicitor Sally Clark of murdering the couple's children.

He still thinks he was right to do what he did
Richard Tyson
Lawyer for GMC

Southall had played no part in the investigation of the case, but contacted police after watching a television documentary about it.

He went on to produce a report on the family for the police - without ever gaining access to case papers.

In the report Southall claimed it was "extremely likely if not certain" that Mr Clark had suffocated his son Christopher in a hotel room.

A GMC fitness to practise panel, which investigated the case after a complaint from Mr Clark, branded Southall's actions as irresponsible.

Speaking at a review meeting at GMC headquarters in Manchester, Southall's lawyer Alison Foster QC said he would "freely accept" an extension of the ban barring him from working on child protection cases.

Little regret

Richard Tyson, for the GMC, said Southall had never apologied to Mr Clark, and had shown little regret for his actions.

He said: "We would submit there's been no substantial change in Dr Southall's position.

"He still thinks he was right to do what he did and this we submit shows a continuing lack of the necessary insight or he's a man who doesn't change his mind easily."

Mrs Clark was convicted in 1999 of murdering her two sons but cleared by the Court of Appeal in January 2003.

Mr Clark campaigned for his wife's release and took part in a Channel 4 documentary in a bid to highlight the weakness of the prosecution case.

Mr Tyson said Southall was currently facing further disciplinary proceedings following an allegation he kept a stash of more than 4,000 "special cases" files on children.

The Attorney General is currently reviewing all the cases handled by Southall in which he appeared as a prosecution witness.

Southall lost the title professor after retiring from his post at the North Staffordshire Hospital Trust in November 2004.

He must attend a further review hearing before the 12 month extension is complete in order to determine whether conditions should remain on his registration.


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