Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'That He Has Admitted Killing His Patients Has Shocked Me. I Just Want to Know If He Is Talking about My Father. It Is Torturing Me' Police to Consult Families over Martin

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'That He Has Admitted Killing His Patients Has Shocked Me. I Just Want to Know If He Is Talking about My Father. It Is Torturing Me' Police to Consult Families over Martin

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Pattinson

FAMILIES of patients treated by Dr Howard Martin will be consulted before a decision is taken on whether to re-open an investigation into the disgraced GP.

The action emerged from talks held yesterday between senior officers in Durham, after Dr Martin was struck off by the General Medical Council on Friday.

Police have said they plan to hold discussions with the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Coroner for County Durham and the local Primary Care Trust, before making a decision on whether the case should be re-opened.

Families who believed the deaths of their loved-ones were hastened by Dr Martin, 75, have called for fresh criminal charges to be brought against the GP, who has been banned from providing medical treatment after giving vulnerable elderly people excessively high doses of morphine.

But last night police warned there would be "no quick resolution" on the matter. A spokesman said: "It could take some weeks to carry out the various actions planned and only after these are completed will any decision be made on whether fresh grounds exist to re-open the criminal investigation."

During yesterday's meeting, chaired by Assistant Chief Constable Michael Banks, it was agreed the families of all patients whose deaths were investigated when issues surrounding Dr Martin first came to light would be contacted.

Officers said their priority remained keeping relatives "fully informed and updated with any developments".

After his striking off, for "deliberate course of conduct" towards 18 of his elderly patients in County Durham, Dr Martin went on to admit he accelerated the deaths of some of his patients.

The former GP, now living in Penmaenmawr, said: "I twice helped people die, not because they wanted to die, but because they had such dreadful suffering. Everyone else wanted to (die). …

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