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Police probe whether patient knifed doctor to death

16 August 2007

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Practice managers will be concerned about the continuing threat to staff after police confirmed they are probing the possibility a doctor was murdered by a disgruntled patient.

Dr Victoria Anyetei was stabbed in a frenzied attack in her own car before she left for work.

She was discovered by her 19-year-old son in her silver Toyota Avensis in a cul-de-sac in Teynham Road, Dartford, Kent.

Police believe the 53-year-old Ghanaian’s killer may have been lying in wait for her inside the vehicle.

Chief Superintendent Gary Beautridge, Kent Police Area Commander for Dartford and Gravesham, said: “It’s a truly extraordinary crime as these things hardly ever happen: a middle-aged, professional, well respected, upstanding, devout Christian member of the community attacked in a frenzied way and struck down in broad daylight.

“That is the almost unique challenge facing the murder inquiry at this stage.”

Mr Beautridge added that police are looking “in some detail” at whether the paediatrician was murdered by a former patient or their parents.

A dedicated team of 20 officers from Kent Police are working on the case and have set up an incident room at the force’s crime unit in Chatham.

Kent Police

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“The ladies in our practice, along with staff from other local practices attended a training session held by a female trainer with the police force who coached us (mostly unfit and middle aged) ladies in basic self defence. She included in her session security issues around cars and car parks, including always checking the back seat of your car before getting in. I find myself habitually still making those checks probably ten years after the initial training. In the light of what it seems to have  happened to Dr Anyetei in Kent, I would like to see PCTs offering some similar training to all practices. In a society where there seems an increasing need to blame someone for all of life’s misshaps, I am concerned that there might be an increase in revenge attacks on both doctors and their staff” – Ms Williams, Birmingham