Surgeon refuses to answer police questions

BLAIR ENSOR AND BRONWYN TORRIE
Last updated 05:00 06/03/2013
Mike Parry
DEREK FLYNN/Marlborough Express
Surgeon Michael Parry

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The surgeon at the centre of a criminal investigation into botched surgery has refused to be questioned by police.

Zimbabwe-born doctor Michael Parry stood down from his post at Wairau Hospital after the death of Jim Nicholls, 81, following surgery last May to remove a hernia and his gall bladder.

It is understood Mr Parry has been on paid leave since.

Another patient, Rachel Riddell, 31, died of significant blood loss in January 2011 after having her gall bladder removed by Mr Parry.

The Dominion Post understands Mr Parry was asked to attend an interview at Blenheim police station yesterday, but refused.

Patients who suffered serious complications and the families of people who died after surgery conducted by him had been asked to supply questions to police for the interview.

A coroner's inquiry into the two patient deaths was put on hold in December when police launched their own investigation into one of the deaths, to determine whether there was any "liability or culpability".

Both deaths, along with botched operations on Angie Webber, 26, and a 36-year-old Upper Hutt woman, have also come under the police microscope.

Adrien Pitcon-Mason, the spokeswoman for Miss Webber and the 36-year-old woman, said last night she was "disgusted" that Mr Parry had refused to front for the interview. "It just goes to show the arrogance of this guy," she said.

Mr Parry moved to New Zealand in April 2010 after working in hospitals in South Africa, England and Abu Dhabi.

His practising certificate has expired, but the Medical Council last week confirmed he had applied for a new one.

Inquiries with medical authorities overseas show no previous investigations into his work. He is still registered to practise in Britain.

Mr Parry could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A police spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny whether Mr Parry was to have been interviewed, or whether he had refused.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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