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Coroner to give verdict into three patients’ deaths

15 March 2010

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A coroner is to give his verdicts following inquests into the deaths of three men treated by a family GP in County Durham.

Dr Howard Martin, 76, was put on trial over the deaths of Stanley Weldon, 74, Frank Moss, 59, and Harry Gittins, 74 in 2005. He was cleared of murdering them by administering lethal doses of morphine.

He practised in Newton Aycliffe, where he treated the three patients, but retired to North Wales after the deaths between March 2003 and January 2004.

When coroner Andrew Tweddle reopened the three inquests last month at Bishop Auckland Magistrates’ Court, he said Dr Martin was “not on trial in any shape, way or form”.

He has taken two weeks to consider the verdicts he will give at the hearing.

Dr Martin, of Penmaenmawr, Gwynedd, still faces an inquiry at a future date by the General Medical Council.

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General Medical Council