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Suspension lifted for GP accused of taking part in £1.8m fraud at Wembley school

PUBLISHED: 12:11 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 12:29 21 December 2012

Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue

Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue

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Dr Indravadan Patel was barred from practising after he was charged with five others from Copland Community School

The five other people charged alongside Dr Patel

Sir Alan Davies - ex headteacher

Dr Richard Evans - ex deputy headteacher

Columbus Udokoro - ex bursar

Michele McKenzie - ex human resources manager

Martin Day - ex vice chairman of governors

A veteran GP can carry on ministering to his patients - although he is facing an accusation of involvement in a £1.8 million fraud conspiracy centring on a Wembley school.

Dr Indravadan Patel, 73, from Stanmore, who was the long serving chairman of the finance committee at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, has been charged with others in connection with alleged unauthorised payments under a staff incentive or bonus scheme between 2003 and 2009.

The GP, who denies any wrong-doing, is due to be tried in September next year.

After he was referred to the General Medical Council by the Metropolitan Police, Dr Patel was suspended from the medical register for 18 months on July 4 this year.

However, a High Court judge has now overturned his suspension, pointing to Dr Patel’s 40 years of unblemished medical practice and emphasising that he is “innocent until proved guilty”.

The charge the GP faced had nothing whatever to do with his clinical practise or patient safety, said Mr Justice Eady, who added that no properly informed member of the public would be offended or surprised that Dr Patel was permitted to practise pending his trial.

It is no part of the prosecution case that Dr Patel made any personal gain, and the judge said: “I consider that most citizens well understand the notion that a person is to be treated as innocent until proved guilty - and its practical implications.”

“Nor can it be said, for any other reason, that the public interest requires his registration to be suspended. In my opinion, the balancing exercise comes down clearly against that...I would terminate the suspension”, he concluded.

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