Doctor worked at Suffolk hospital while awaiting trial for murder

A Suffolk hospital which employed a foreign doctor while he was awaiting a murder trial in Spain has said it checked his background as thoroughly as possible.

Marcos Ariel Hourmann was employed in the Accident and Emergency department at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds for 18 months.

This was despite the surgeon being charged in 2005 over the mercy killing of an ailing 82-year-old grandmother who had asked him to end her life.

Dr Hourmann's case, heard at a court near Barcelona, concluded last year when the murder charge was downgraded to manslaughter.

The 51-year-old received a one-year suspended prison sentence for the manslaughter of Carmen Cortiella, whom he reportedly injected with potassium chloride, a drug used to kill Death Row prisoners.

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However, Dr Hourmann's case in Spain was not revealed in Britain as regulating medical boards in other countries are not obliged to give details to the General Medical Council (GMC).

Mark Purcell, a spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital, said: 'All the appropriate checks were made in relation to his qualifications and his standing as far as the General Medical Council in this country was concerned, which is what we do for all clinicians joining the NHS organisation.

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'We were not aware of anything as far as what may have happened in Spain.'

Niall Dickson, GMC chief executive, said: 'The GMC does tell other regulators when we take action against a doctor, but the law in Europe does not require others to do the same.'

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