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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 13:18 GMT
Hospital death doctor convicted
Christopher Rochester
Mr Rochester died after being left on a hospital trolley for three hours
A Greek doctor has been convicted of killing a British holidaymaker who died after being left on a hospital trolley.

In 2000, Christopher Rochester, 24, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, fell 40ft (12m) from a Rhodes balcony.

Three doctors were found guilty of manslaughter by neglect two years later but were cleared on appeal in 2005.

Junior doctor Stergios Pavlidis has now been sentenced to 15 months, suspended for three years, following a private prosecution by Mr Rochester's family.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS:
2000 Mr Rochester dies at Andreas Papandreou Hospital
2002 Three doctors convicted of manslaughter
2005 Manslaughter convictions overturned
2006 Greece's High Court rules the acquittals unsafe
2007 Mr Rochester's family win the right to privately prosecute
2008 Stergios Pavlidis re-convicted of manslaughter

The two other doctors, Georgos Karavolias and Mihalis Sokorelos, were acquitted.

The tourist died of internal bleeding at the island's Andreas Papandreou Hospital when he was left unattended for three hours after his fall at the Faliraki apartments.

After the three doctors were acquitted in 2005, the Greek Supreme Court ruled the appeal should be overturned and subsequently approved the private prosecution.

Mr Rochester's stepfather George Cummings and mother Pam Cummings raised almost 10,000 to pay for the case, which was held before Rhodes magistrates.

Speaking after the conviction, Mrs Cummings said she was happy with the outcome, because she had been convinced that all the doctors would be found not guilty.

Stergios Pavlidis
Junior doctor Stergios Pavlidis had been acquitted in 2005

But she criticised Dr Karavolias and said that if he had been in the A&E department then Christopher would have lived.

The court heard evidence that the surgeon was in a hospital rest room and had left instructions that he should be called in an emergency. He maintained that no one had contacted him.

Mrs Cummings said: "If he had been in A&E, a trained specialist doctor, he would have been there to take over from Pavlidis, the junior doctor.

"If Karavolias had been (there) Chris would have lived, I am sure of it."

The family's lawyer Sotirios Manolaidis explained that it was unlikely that the Pavlidis would be barred from practising again.

But the court's latest verdict is unlikely to be overturned because the decision was unanimous, he added.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Christoper Rochester's stepfather on the verdict



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