3 jurors out of Patel manslaughter case in the first 6 days of trial

Another Juror in the manslaughter trail of Dr. Jayant Patel has been discharged from her duties in a latest development. She is the third in the last six days of the trial at the Supreme Court in Brisbane

This juror informed Justice John Byrne that she had gained temporary employment at Queensland Health on Monday and also hoped to extend the contract both of which would disqualify her from her present duties as juror.

Defence barrister Michael Byrne QC asked that she be discharged, and Justice Byrne agreed.

"In view of the sensitivity of this case I have decided, because of her connection with Queensland Health, she should not serve on the jury," Justice Byrne told the remaining jury members. "The reality of, and public appearance of impartiality are critical."

On the very first day of the trial a male juror climbed down from his duties citing reasons that he would not be impartial. On the third day another male juror stepped down citing his reasons in a note to the judge the contents of which were not revealed. These three discharged jurors have been replaced by those in the panel that was set up last Monday. With this only one juror remains in reserve.

Dr. Patel, 59, is the former Director of Surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital stands accused of manslaughter of Mervyn John Morris (75, between April 1, 2003 and June 15, 2003), James Edward Phillips (46, between May 18, 2003 and May 22, 2003) and Geradus Wihelmus Gosewinus Kemps (77, between December 18, 2004 and December 22, 2004) and causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles (62, between October 3, 2004 and April 4, 2005). He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.

The legal debate has been adjourned until Tuesday with the sixth day passing without any new evidence regarding the case. This decision was made after intense discussions among lawyers in order to resolve some legal issues.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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