Premier Newman expresses thoughts on Patel verdict
"JUSTICE has been done for the people of Bundaberg."
They were the final words Jayant Patel's barrister uttered after learning his client had been found not guilty of manslaughter.
Walking from the courthouse and surrounded by media, Kenneth Fleming spoke on behalf of 62-year-old Dr Patel, who for the first time since his almost-month long trial began, broke his composure and hugged his legal counsel upon hearing his verdict.
"Justice is done," Mr Fleming said.
"(Dr Patel) is very grateful to the jury and the court system for what has happened."
Dr Patel was unable to speak to media on Wednesday due to pending charges.
It took a jury two days of deliberations to reach the verdict after a complex trial.
So complex, Justice George Fryberg took the opportunity to thank the panel of men and women for their attention during the technical case.
Dr Patel had pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Mervyn John Morris, who died three weeks after an operation.
Mr Morris was admitted to Bundaberg Base Hospital in May 2003 after experiencing rectal bleeding.
Dr Patel removed part of the 75-year-old's sigmoid colon, a decision the Crown had argued was not what a reasonable doctor would have done.
The Crown also alleged Dr Patel did not provide Mr Morris with proper post-operative care.
An hour before the jury delivered its verdict, it sought clarification from Justice Fryberg on what constituted criminal and civil negligence.
Shortly after 4pm on Wednesday, the jury returned, in front of Dr Patel in a brown suit and a steely expression, to confirm it was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt the doctor was guilty of manslaughter.
Mr Morris' family, who were present during most of the trial, were not in court for the verdict.
While Jayant Patel can relish in his manslaughter acquittal, the former Bundaberg director of surgery cannot close this chapter in his life yet.
Premer Campbell Newman said it was now up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine the next course of action for Dr Patel's remaining charges "so public comment needs to be limited".
"But my heart does go out to those who have been affected personally by this case, and tonight my thoughts are with them," he said.
The remaining two manslaughter, two grievous bodily harm, seven fraud and one attempted fraud charges also resulted from his time as a surgeon in Bundaberg.
Mr Fleming said he would be making a submission to the DPP not to pursue the charges following the not guilty result.
The DPP released a short statement outlining the fate of the remaining charges would not be known before a court appearance on Friday.
"There are matters still before the court," the statement read.
"It is not appropriate for the Director to say anything before the matter is next mentioned in court on Friday."
Dr Patel's mention is listed in the Supreme Court.
UPDATE 5pm: Jayant Patel's defence barrister believes "justice had been done for Bundaberg" with the delivery of his client's not guilty verdict.
Defence barrister Ken Fleming and Jayant Patel hugged one another after the jury found Patel not guilty of manslaughter this afternoon.
Outside of court, Mr Fleming said Dr Patel was his own best advocate.
"Justice is done," he said.
"He is very grateful to the jury and the court system for what has happened."
BREAKING 4.20pm: A jury has found former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel not guilty of manslaughter.
The verdict was handed down this afternoon in the Supreme Court after two days of deliberations.
Patel had pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing Mervyn John Morris at Bundaberg Base Hospital in 2003.
Mr Morris was admitted to hospital in May 2003 with rectal bleeding.
Patel diagnosed Mr Morris with diverticulitis and subsequently removed part of his sigmoid colon.
Mr Morris died three weeks later on June 14, 2003 in post-operative care.
The Crown alleged Patel was negligent in recommending the operation and did not administer Mr Morris the proper post-operative care.
Mr Morris died from a combination of respiratory failure, septicemia and malnutrition.
The jury heard Mr Morris had a checkered medical history, including heart disease, prostate cancer and liver problems.
Today's verdict comes after almost a month-long trial.
It was the second time Patel stood trial for Mr Morris' manslaughter after the High Court quashed his conviction last year.