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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Surgeon admits killing a patient
Steven Walker
Mr Walker specialised in abdominal surgery
A surgeon who denied the manslaughter of two female patients has changed his plea and admitted killing one.

Steven Walker, 47, of Camberley, Surrey, was accused of the manslaughter of Jean Robinson, 66, and Dorothy McPhee, 71, in 1995.

Walker, who was due to enter the witness box, changed his plea to admit killing Mrs McPhee at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The trial at the Old Bailey started five weeks ago.

The prosecution asked that the charge relating to Mrs Robinson's death should remain on file along with another manslaughter charge due to be heard later this year.

Photo call

Walker had already been found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council over a series of botched operations.

Mrs McPhee died following an operation to remove a large cancerous tumour from her liver.

She lost 36 pints of blood in the operation which, the court was told, should not have been performed by him.

The jury heard colleagues were horrified as Walker turned his back on Mrs McPhee - as she bled to death on the operating table - to have his photograph taken with a liver specimen.

'No winners'

Walker will be sentenced on Wednesday 23 June, at the Old Bailey.

Mrs Robinson was given an emergency operation after a colonoscopy procedure went wrong.

She died three weeks later following a second operation to reduce an infection and during which the doctor decided to remove most of her bowel.

The trial heard evidence from medical experts who said Walker should not have attempted the procedures.

Detective Superintendent Paul Buschini, who led the two-and-a-half-year investigation, said: "Whilst I am pleased with the admission that has been made today, there can be no winners in this tragic case."

The BBC's Sophie Hutchinson
"In a dramatic change of heart the former surgeon pleaded guilty to killing one of his patients"

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