Family doctor decides not to appeal decision against to strike him off

Dr Derek Keilloh

Dr Derek Keilloh

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

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.

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.”

Comments (6)

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8:56am Sat 19 Jan 13

Demonst8 says...

My Concise OED defines scapegoat as someone bearing the blame that should fall on others. Dr Keilloh was struck off for what he did and what he failed to do. His account was found to be unreliable by two investigating bodies.

Let me remind those who supported him that a man was murdered and others tortured yet a conspiracy of silence among the troops deployed at the time has prevented convictions for murder and gross abuse of detainees.

I hope others in more senior positions will face trials for the lies that led to war and creating the conditions in which the abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq occurred. But individuals, whatever their rank and not least a medical officer, must be held responsible for war crimes or their part in covering them up. War crimes are never excusable, but least of all for those inflicted on prisoners away from the heat of battle and over a long period of time
My Concise OED defines scapegoat as someone bearing the blame that should fall on others. Dr Keilloh was struck off for what he did and what he failed to do. His account was found to be unreliable by two investigating bodies. Let me remind those who supported him that a man was murdered and others tortured yet a conspiracy of silence among the troops deployed at the time has prevented convictions for murder and gross abuse of detainees. I hope others in more senior positions will face trials for the lies that led to war and creating the conditions in which the abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq occurred. But individuals, whatever their rank and not least a medical officer, must be held responsible for war crimes or their part in covering them up. War crimes are never excusable, but least of all for those inflicted on prisoners away from the heat of battle and over a long period of time Demonst8
  • Score: 0

11:19am Sat 19 Jan 13

Davy Crocket says...

He was bullied into keeping quiet and could have "disappeared" if he had spoken out ... remember Dr David Kelly anyone ? The war was a massive mistake and very wrong and many people have a lot to answer for. However this man was a victim of circumstance and could not have spoken out.
He was bullied into keeping quiet and could have "disappeared" if he had spoken out ... remember Dr David Kelly anyone ? The war was a massive mistake and very wrong and many people have a lot to answer for. However this man was a victim of circumstance and could not have spoken out. Davy Crocket
  • Score: 0

11:31am Sat 19 Jan 13

Demonst8 says...

It seems very likely that torturers and murderers would bully to cover up their crimes. But what stopped Keilloh telling the truth at the inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa and at the medical tribunal that struck him off? Instead of coming clean he appears to have helped major criminals avoid prosecution. and In doing so sided with the bullies.
It seems very likely that torturers and murderers would bully to cover up their crimes. But what stopped Keilloh telling the truth at the inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa and at the medical tribunal that struck him off? Instead of coming clean he appears to have helped major criminals avoid prosecution. and In doing so sided with the bullies. Demonst8
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Sat 19 Jan 13

campag says...

I have some sympathy for Dr Keilloh who was undoubtedy placed in a difficult position. Nonetheless the evidence is-you only have to see the photographs of Mr Baha Mousa following his torture and death-that Dr Keilloh repeatedly lied under oath about the injuries sustained resulting in the unlawful killing (to say the least) of this innocent civilian, and failed to protect others from torture and ill treatment.

It was Dr keillohs misfortune to end up as medical officer in an ill led regiment containing (i hope) more than the usual share of sadists and bullies. Dr Keilloh may have been an outstanding GP but his complete failure to behave honestly where a man has been tortured to death , or take any sort of moral lead must inevitably support the view that he is not fit to practice.
I have some sympathy for Dr Keilloh who was undoubtedy placed in a difficult position. Nonetheless the evidence is-you only have to see the photographs of Mr Baha Mousa following his torture and death-that Dr Keilloh repeatedly lied under oath about the injuries sustained resulting in the unlawful killing (to say the least) of this innocent civilian, and failed to protect others from torture and ill treatment. It was Dr keillohs misfortune to end up as medical officer in an ill led regiment containing (i hope) more than the usual share of sadists and bullies. Dr Keilloh may have been an outstanding GP but his complete failure to behave honestly where a man has been tortured to death , or take any sort of moral lead must inevitably support the view that he is not fit to practice. campag
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Sat 19 Jan 13

UpTheBoro says...

At the time, he was a young man in a hostile intimidating environment. I have no doubt whatsoever, the lies and attempted cover ups by the Doc were strongly influenced from people in high positions. Hes very unfortunate to have found himself in the position he was. The world is a cruel place sometimes.
At the time, he was a young man in a hostile intimidating environment. I have no doubt whatsoever, the lies and attempted cover ups by the Doc were strongly influenced from people in high positions. Hes very unfortunate to have found himself in the position he was. The world is a cruel place sometimes. UpTheBoro
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Sat 19 Jan 13

vercingetorix says...

One of the worst things in todays world is that as a species we are so unforgiving. Too many people are discriminated against because of something that happened years ago. Though I wouldnt minimise for a moment what he did or didnt do...its time to move on and branding someone for life does nobody any good. he is not a serial offender and is no danger to anyone and now because of this branding he can no longer play his role in the community
One of the worst things in todays world is that as a species we are so unforgiving. Too many people are discriminated against because of something that happened years ago. Though I wouldnt minimise for a moment what he did or didnt do...its time to move on and branding someone for life does nobody any good. he is not a serial offender and is no danger to anyone and now because of this branding he can no longer play his role in the community vercingetorix
  • Score: 1

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