Hospital rejects reports of doctor faking his death


Newspaper reports which suggest a disgraced British gynaecologist faked his death in Ireland to avoid prosecution are unfounded, according to hospital officials.

Rodney Ledward (62) of Kent was struck off the medical register in Britain in 1998 after one of his patients bled to death during surgery. Some 200 charges of malpractice were made against him by patients, leading to an inquiry in to his conduct by the British National Health Service.

Mr Ledward fled Britain and moved to Dromohane, outside Mallow, Co Cork, in 1999. He was treated for pancreatic cancer at Cork University hospital where he died in October 2000.

A hospital spokeswoman said it was ridiculous to suggest that the doctor had been sighted near his holiday home in Spain.

Ms Maureen O'Donovan, nursing administration manager at the hospital, said Mr Ledward was certified dead by a doctor at the hospital on the October 19th, 2000. His condition had deteriorated rapidly and he was in hospital three times in the months before he died. He was an in-patient for two weeks before to his death.

A senior hospital source said Mr Ledward's original death certificate, which was signed by the consultant assigned to Mr Ledward, was on file in Dublin. A death certificate signed by the mortuary attendant was also lodged to the births, deaths and marriages records office in Cork city.

Garda∅ in Cork have indicated that the British authorities have not contacted them in relation to a possible exhumation.

The Rev Robert Kingston of St James's church in Mallow conducted Mr Ledward's funeral service on October 23rd, 1999.

When he moved to Cork it was revealed the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland was unable to prevent him from working as a pharmacist in the Republic.