This site is intended for health professionals only

GP manslaughter case dropped due to ‘insufficient evidence’

A second GP has been cleared of killing a 12-year-old boy by gross negligence after he died from a rare illness.

Dr Lindsay Thomas, 42, and Dr Joanne Rudling, 45, had both been on trial for the death of schoolboy Ryan Morse after he died from the treatable disease.

The pair were accused of refusing to treat the boy and failing to recognise he was dying when his mother rang their surgery for advice.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Ryan had dropped to just four stone and his genitals turned black when he died on his settee, after months of feeling tired and vomiting.

His mother, Carol Morse, 54, claimed doctors at Abernant Surgery in Aberystwyth, West Wales, repeatedly waved away her suggestions her son was gravely ill, saying he was suffering from a simple virus.

It was both Dr Thomas and Dr Rudling who she rang separately for advice on 7 December, 2012, when a ‘very sick’ Ryan’s genitals turned black.

The prosecution said both GPs should have realised the schoolboy was dying at his home in Brynithel, Gwent, and should have either called for an ambulance or gone to visit the boy herself.

John Price, prosecuting, told the court: ‘Both GPs could have called an ambulance. If they had done as they should, his life would have been saved.’

But today the jury in the case was dismissed after Mrs Justice Nicola Davies cleared Dr Rudling of manslaughter saying there was ‘insufficient evidence’. It came a week after Dr Thomas was cleared on the same grounds.

The judge said: ‘I had decided that there was no case upon which a properly directed jury could convict Dr Rudling.’

The decision comes a week after colleague Dr Thomas was also cleared of the charge.

Dr Thomas said outside court she was ‘pleased’ with the outcome, adding: ‘I would like to thank family, friends, patients and my legal team for their support. Once again I offer my condolences to Ryan’s family.’

The judge added Dr Rudling will face a new trial on another charge of perverting the course of justice at a later date for allegedly manipulating Ryan’s medical records after she learned of his death.

Comments have been disabled on this article for legal reasons


Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.