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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Prison doctor 'threatened' patients
HM Prison Manchester - formerly Strangeways
The offences allegedly occurred at Strangeways in 2000
A prison doctor told a suicidal patient how best to take his own life, a disciplinary hearing has been told.

Dr Wassim Malas, who worked at Strangeways - now HM Prison Manchester - was said to have been annoyed when called out during the night on 22 October 2000 to treat the prisoner after he cut his arms.

Dr Malas also hurled four letter abuse at the patient and picked a fight with another inmate, the hearing of the General Medical Council (GMC) in Manchester was told.

The doctor denies serious professional misconduct.


I need to be correctional because no-one else is

Dr Wassim Malas
The GMC committee heard that Dr Malas said to the injured prisoner: "If you want to do it properly, deep cuts to the arms and throat, lie on the bed and don't ask for help."

Earlier that same day, the medic was heard to be engaged in a heated discussion with another prisoner who was a patient on the prison's G-Wing.

Linda Strudwick, for the GMC, said Dr Malas encouraged the mentally unstable man - known as Mr C - to fight with him.

In another incident he was alleged to have made threats of violence to a recovering drug addict.

The man - known as Mr A - was said to have visited the doctor regularly demanding diazepam, but his requests were refused.

'No escape'

Dr Malas was said to have told him he had done "favours" for inmates in the past.

It is alleged he said: "There is not a cell in this jail where you could be safe from me.

"If you were transferred from this jail, don't think you would be able to escape my reach here."

The former prison medical officer at Strangeways, Dr Andrew Greenwood, said: "I cannot accept that this is right in any sense to threaten inmates with violence.

HM Prison Manchester
Dr Malas is said to have threatened inmates
"It was his lack in control in this area that concerned me the most.

"You could say that it would be sinking to the level of a prisoner and when I first heard about it it was fair to say that I was shocked."

When questioned, Dr Malas admitted making threats but said he had not been serious.

"I need to be correctional because no-one else is," he said.

He was initially suspended while an investigation was carried out and is no longer based at the prison.

Last year the GMC's interim orders committee allowed him to work in general practice but only under supervision.

He was also ordered to attend an anger management course.

The case continues.


Click here to go to Manchester
See also:

30 Jul 02 | England
21 May 02 | Breakfast
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28 Mar 00 | UK
08 Oct 99 | Health
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