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28 NOV 2007

Paediatrician faces being struck off

On Tuesday the General Medical Council ruled that Dr David Southall, a consultant paediatrician, abused his position by falsely accusing a mother of murdering her son by hanging him.

It was alleged at the hearing that in 1998, Dr Southall accused the grieving mother of drugging and then hanging her ten-year-old son when he interviewed her at the request the child protection team to determine whether her second child should be taken into care. Dr Southall denies these allegations.

The chairman of the fitness-to-practice panel, Jacqueline Mitton, said: "your action in accusing [the mother] of drugging and murdering [her son] by hanging him was inappropriate, added to her distress and was in the circumstances an abuse of your professional position."

In 2004 Dr Southall was found guilty of serious professional misconduct when he wrongly accused the husband of the late Sally Clark of murdering their two children.

The hearing continues.

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