GP cleared of manslaughter over pensioners’ deaths

Dr Rejendra Kokkarne arrives at Leeds Crown Court
Dr Rejendra Kokkarne arrives at Leeds Crown Court
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A DOCTOR who was accused of killing two patients in West Yorkshire by prescribing high doses of a painkiller between checking emails and cricket scores on his computer has been cleared of manslaughter.

Rejendra Kokkarne walked free from Leeds Crown Court today.

The GP had been on trial accused of causing the deaths of care home patients Beryl Barber, 78, and Eric Watson, 86.

Both pensioners died after they were prescribed morphine sulphate by Dr Kokkarne when he was told about their pain over the phone by a nurse at the Charlton Centre for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care in Batley.

Mrs Barber had been suffering from painful ulcers and Mr Watson had a urinary infection and mouth ulcers.

The court heard that the patients were prescribed 10 times the normal starting dose.

Dr Kokkarne told police he had made an mistake.

Kokkarne, 37, of Fulmar Way, Worksop, denied two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence of Mrs Barber on February 3 2008 and of Mr Watson on February 4.

He was acquitted on both counts by a jury after more than a day of deliberations.