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The retired paediatrician testified as an expert in a case in 2018 when he was not licensed to practice by the GMC
In November 2018, Dr Dewi Evans testified in the case of a six-week-old baby. It is possible that in doing so he broke rules.
Figure 1 below sets out the guidance from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges for healthcare professionals giving expert testimony. It states that, in order to demonstrate legitimacy,:
Healthcare professionals giving expert evidence must hold the appropriate licence to practise/registration and be in, or sufficiently recently in, practice. This is essential if producing a report from direct assessment and/or examination of the patient.
If there are circumstances where this is not the case the healthcare professional must be able to demonstrate why it is appropriate for them to still act as a witness and that they have maintained the appropriate expertise.
If the case relates to historical events the healthcare professional should ideally have been in practice at the time of the events in question or be able to demonstrate understanding of the standards applicable at the time and the context of the incident.
Figure 2 below is the General Medical Council record for Dr David Richard Evans (https://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/1503009). It states that Evans was 'Registered without a licence to practise' from 26 Aug 2015 to 16 Jul 2019.
Figure 3 below is an extract from Dr Evans' LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dewi-evans-211194a3/?originalSubdomain=uk). It states that Evans was a consultant paediatrician until July 2009, and thereafter (from September 2010 to the present) a Director of Dewi Evans Paediatric Consulting.
Figure 4 below is the December 2018 article in The Southern Daily Echo about the case of the six-week-old (https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/17269039.doctor-claims-bite-baby-death-intentional/ ). It states that, "Winchester Crown heard from consultant paediatrician Dr Dewi Evans". It appears that Dr Evans is testifying as an expert rather than as the child's paediatrician. This is supported by the fact that Dr Evans lived in Carmarthen in 2018 (see LinkedIn profile) while the trial was being held in Winchester. He's also referred to as a 'consultant paediatrician' rather than a 'retired consultant paediatrician'.
The article also states that, "Dr Evans told the jury he thought the defendants’ accounts of either the baby being dropped or falling from a sofa didn’t explain the injuries, which included a fractured femur, rib fractures, and the bite to the nose". This also sounds like the testimony of an expert considering the injuries rather than the child's paediatrician testifying about that relationship.
Do any of you (with experience in these matters or otherwise) think that Evans broke the rules? If yes, was the offence a serious one? And if yes, what might the ramifications be in relation to his testimony at Lucy's trial?
Figure 1: Guidance from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges for healthcare professionals giving expert testimony (from https://www.aomrc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Expert_witness_0519-1.pdf)
Figure 2: General Medical Council record for Dr David Richard Evans (https://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/1503009)
Figure 3: Extract from Dr Dewi Evans' LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dewi-evans-211194a3/?originalSubdomain=uk)
Figure 4: Article in The Southern Daily Echo (https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/17269039.doctor-claims-bite-baby-death-intentional/ )
Doctor claims bite to baby before his death was ‘intentional’
1st December 2018
A DOCTOR told a murder trial he thought a six-week-old baby had been “hurled by the leg” and his head “smashed against a hard surface” shortly before dying.
Winchester Crown heard from consultant paediatrician Dr Dewi Evans who also said the baby, who died on February 11, suffered an “intentional” bite to the nose.
It comes as the boy’s 17-year-old father stands trial for murder, while the 19-year-old mother is accused of neglect. Neither can be identified for legal reasons.
Dr Evans told the jury he thought the defendants’ accounts of either the baby being dropped or falling from a sofa didn’t explain the injuries, which included a fractured femur, rib fractures, and the bite to the nose.
The court previously heard from a teenage witness, who also cannot be named, that she was smoking with the mother outside her flat when they heard a “thud”. They went back inside where she said the father was picking up the baby.
Later, she said the father had been playing with the baby when he “managed to bite his nose”, although she admitted she did not directly see either incident.
However, the court today heard that was disputed by the mother, who said in a police interview she was inside crying when she heard the incident, and that she also didn’t see it.
She said they had been arguing and was not aware of the full extent of the baby’s injuries, some of which are alleged to have been caused before that night.
The mother added: “I really, truly wish I had broken up with him in October when I was pregnant,” after saying he had been “violent” towards her. During the police interview, she also described him as “very controlling”, but said she had never known him to hurt the baby.
When questioned why she didn’t call police over the father’s behaviour on the night the baby died, she responded: “I don’t know.” She was then accused of “allowing this to happen through your own inaction”, which she denied.
Both deny the charges. The trial continues.
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