HUNDREDS of patients of a North Yorkshire doctor struck off for his involvement in the death of an Iraqi detainee rallied in support of him tonight (January 7).
Northallerton GP, Derek Keilloh, was found guilty of misleading and dishonest conduct following the death of Baha Mousa in Basra in 2003, but the community he served said they are now being punished too.
A public meeting was held at the Jolly Minister pub in the town where patients spoke of a "caring, considerate and thorough doctor" who had saved the lives of many of those gathered.
The meeting called for the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) to be reversed and asked people to back a petition.
Meeting organisers, Claire Hutchinson, Doug Doherty, Amanda Guest and Fiona Binns, asked for letters and emails to be sent to the MPTS and local MP, Conservative Foreign Secretary, William Hague.
Ms Hutchinson said: “We do not yet know whether Dr Keilloh will decide to appeal the decision and if he does not want to we will respect that.
“But if he does we want him to know the level of support out there for him, and we will do everything we can to bring him back to this community that needs him.”
Mr Doherty said: “The evening has shown just how much support there is for him – and gives a clear message of how disgusted we are at the verdict.”
Local councillor, Tony Hall said: “Dr Keilloh has until January 19 to make his decision.
“I have been in contact with his lawyers and I hope there is some fresh evidence to bring to the appeal because that is what will really make a difference in his case.”
A former colleague of Dr Keilloh, who did not want to be named, added: “I have seen the respect his patients give him and I have seen how he has gone over and above what would be expected of him as a doctor.
“If there’s a chance we can help, let’s try and give something back to him after he has given so much to all of us.”
Meanwhile, John Hyde, whose military policeman son, Ben, was killed by a 300-strong mob in 2003, has given his own backing to Dr Keilloh.
“I believe Dr Keilloh has been made a political scapegoat for the compensation culture that has developed against the British Armed Forces," he said.
“Over the last nine years the British Government has paid millions of pounds to Iraqi families for cases of alleged brutality by British troops.
“Dr Keilloh is an unfortunate victim who was caught in the backlash by British troops after the murder by Iraqis of a number of British service personnel over a six-week period, including my own son Ben.”
A Facebook page, Support Local Doctor D Keilloh, has been set up.