Doctor guilty of tourist’s death

A Rhodes court yesterday passed down a suspended jail sentence on a junior doctor after finding him guilty of the manslaughter through neglect of a 24-year-old British tourist who died waiting for surgery in a local hospital in June 2000. Sergios Pavlidis received a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for three years, for failing to obtain medical attention for Christopher Rochester, who was rushed to the Andreas Papandreou Hospital with serious injuries after falling from a hotel balcony. Two senior surgeons at the hospital, Georgios Karavolias and Michalis Sokorelos, were cleared of manslaughter after the court ruled that Pavlidis had failed to alert them on time. All three doctors had initially been sentenced to three years in prison but appealed their sentences. Rochester’s parents, who attended yesterday’s trial, said they were relieved that blame had been apportioned but bitter that the two senior doctors got off. «We were under the impression that the doctors were going to be found not guilty, so yes, I am happy with the outcome,» said the victim’s mother Pam Cummings. «The other two can rot in hell,» she added. Reacting to the news that the doctors would probably not be barred from practicing, Cummings said, «Greek justice is not true justice.» The family is said to be planning a civil case against the hospital, seeking 5 million euros in damages. Meanwhile, an investigation is under way to determine why Rochester’s body was returned to the UK minus a kidney. After receiving the coroner’s report, the Rhodes hospital sent a kidney to Britain but tests on the organ reportedly failed to match Rochester’s DNA. Hospital sources said the kidney had been removed for tissue examinations to be carried out. They have not commented on the alleged kidney mix-up.