A FAMILY doctor's nine year battle to clear his name has come to an end, after he announced “with a heavy heart” he would not appeal against the decision to strike him off.

Northallerton GP Derek Keilloh broke the news yesterday (Friday, January 18) to the hundreds of well-wishers and former patients who campaigned to try and reverse the decision to ban him from practising medicine.

Mr Keilloh had been found guilty of misleading and dishonest conduct following the death of Iraqi prisoner Baha Mousa in Basra in 2003.

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In December the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decided to erase his name from the Medical Register, ending his career as a doctor.

Dr Keilloh, now 38, was a newly-qualified doctor with the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment when he tried to save 26-year-old Mr Mousa, who had been beaten by British troops.

The hearing was told Dr Keilloh had had no dealings with Baha Mousa until he was called to the detention facility after he collapsed.

Dr Keilloh tried to resuscitate him, but was unable to revive him.

The doctor claimed he did not see any injuries other than dried blood around his nose, but the Iraqi had suffered 93 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.

The MPTS panel concluded he had been more aware of Baha Mousa’s injuries than he revealed in his statements to a court martial and public inquiry.

They also considered evidence about his deployment to Iraq, which suggested he had had no pre-deployment training and was unaware he would be dealing with detained civilians, for which, the panel heard, there was no protocol for him to follow.

The MPTS panel responsible for deciding the doctor’s fate received three large ringbinders of testimonial letters from patients and professionals such as doctors, nurses and care home managers who spoke of his care of patients in Northallerton.

A public campaign was launched to support him at a meeting attended by former patients earlier this month.

But now the married father-of-two has explained why he has decided not to contest the decision.

In a statement on the Support Local Doctor D. Keilloh Facebook page, he said: “It is with a heavy heart that I am not able to lodge an appeal to the findings and outcome of my hearing.

“This position may cause many of you to be confused and feel let down.”

He went on: “I wish to make it clear that the support which has been co-ordinated and displayed visibly has not been futile. I recognise the collective efforts of you writing to the MPTS.

“Unfortunately despite the public opinion – strong as it is – it could not influence or assist the decision of appeal.”

He explained the legal reasoning behind his decision not to appeal with a synopsis of the case from his legal representatives. It explained that if they were to appeal to High Court, the court would show “considerable deference” to the MPTS panel’s earlier decision on whether he was fit to practice, as it was regarded as a professional panel and included one or more doctors.

He also thanked his supporters for their efforts: “I have been overwhelmed by the volume and sincerity of support.

“For me to hear statements from the public of North Yorkshire, whom I have served as a trusted General Practitioner has given me strength and great consolation.”

One of his former patients, Maurice Willis said last night: “He would always go the extra mile for his patients. 

“I feel really sorry for him. We just feel he’s been a scapegoat. 

“It’s a sad loss, but he’s obviously thought about it and we can only honour his decision I suppose.”

Northallerton resident Doug Doherty, a former patient who had helped organise the support campaign in the town, said: “We understand that Dr Keilloh has done what he believes is best for him and his family and though he will be sadly missed by the community he will always be remembered with a great amount of respect and fond memories.”